When there are specific concerns, our first approach is to engage with management to deal with the respective issues. If this fails to deliver the appropriate action, we then escalate the issue to the Board. Where appropriate, we also engage with like minded shareholders to drive a more successful and coherent engagement with the company. If these actions still do not result in the desired outcome, we will take the appropriate steps at either the annual general meeting or call a special meeting to highlight our grievances and make necessary recommendations. If our best efforts are unsuccessful, then we will re-assess our investment case and valuation and take the appropriate investment action in our portfolios.
We will therefore consistently engage on a number of ESG issues throughout the year, not only at the time of particular corporate events, so that the company has sufficient time to address such concerns before any formal voting occurs. Our overriding principle is that constructive pre-emptive engagement and rectification is a far preferable outcome for all stakeholders than formulaic voting at general meetings.
As an active shareholder and through the process of engagement we believe that we can raise the overall awareness levels of companies to the importance of ESG reporting. This is to the benefit of all stakeholders. It also aids and assists the voting process as information required to justify voting decisions will be easily accessible for all shareholders. Where companies we engage with fail to improve their standard of disclosure, or adequately address the concerns we have raised, we will exercise our rights of ownership at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in an appropriate manner to drive the required change.