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Quinn & Partners Inc.

Service Providers Framework 2020

You are in Strategy and Governance » Policy on ESG beliefs

Policy on ESG beliefs

SG 01. Responsible investment policy

01.1. Describe how your organisation’s philosophy incorporates environmental, social and governance factors, and the link to your business offerings.

Our mission is to advance sustainability integration in both business and capital markets.

Our vision is to be our clients' trusted advisor in all matters relating to ESG integration and corporate sustainability.

We work with organizations to design and execute sustainability leadership strategies to strengthen our clients’ position with customers, investors, employees, industry stakeholders and society at large.

Our support helps companies enhance reputation, manage risks, realize efficiencies, create business innovation and ultimately contribute to more resilient, future-oriented businesses. Sustainability is a catalyst for positive change. That is how we believe sustainability creates shareholder value.

Our firm’s articles of incorporation explicitly states that the company shall act in the short-term and long-term interests of our stakeholders, including investors, employees, customers, suppliers and environment.

We have six guiding values:

Client first: excellent client work builds our brand, makes our firm an interesting place to work and sustains our business
Team player: we always work as a team – within the company and with our clients – and we help each other succeed
Healthy habits: we operate our business by considering the well-being of our employees, our environment and our local community. Employees are encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices and be engaged in the office and community
Intellectual curiosity and commitment to learning: we never stop acquiring new knowledge and learn from our successes and disappointments
Integrity: we always act ethically, respect confidentiality and are accountable for what we do
Responsibility: we always act with the understanding that we are striving for continual improvement for ourselves and our clients and believe everyone must be change agents

01.2. Indicate whether you have policies that formalise the incorporation of your ESG beliefs in your business offerings.

01.3. Indicate the components/types of your internal policy and provide the URL and/or an attachment of the document/s if they are publicly available.

Policy components/types

Public availability

Public availability

Public availability

Public availability

01.4. Indicate how these are put into practice internally across the organisation.

01.5. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


SG 02. Norms used to develop policies

02.1. Indicate what frameworks and guidelines you have used to develop your organisation’s policies. Tick all that apply.

          B Corporation - B-Labs Assessment Standard (audited)
        
          Best practices for ESG advisory firms
        

02.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]


SG 03. Policy offerings to clients

03.1. Indicate whether you offer standard, off the shelf, policies to clients as part of your product offerings, and/or whether you create tailored versions for individual clients.

Off the shelf
Tailored
Asset class-specific RI guidelines
Sector-specific RI guidelines
Screening/exclusions policy
Engagement policy
(Proxy) voting policy
RI guidelines set out within the Investment Policy Statement (IPS)
RI guidelines set out in a freestanding RI policy
Multi-year RI implementation project plan
Conflict of interest management policy
Stockbroker allocation policy
Securities lending policy
Other, please specify (1)
Other, please specify (2)
Other, please specify (3)
None of the above

please specify (1) - Tailored

          Responsible supply chain/procurement
        

03.2. Provide a brief description of the key elements, any variations, or exceptions applying to these policies.

Our tailored ESG policies often include five sections covering policy background, commitments and responsibilities:

  • Context outlines firm/entity ESG objectives
  • Beliefs specify the value/rationale of ESG integration in investing/the asset class
  • Commitments define ESG integration activities and list ESG topics to be considered
  • Responsibilities designate party(ies) responsible for meeting commitments
  • Frequency of policy review/ update

Our policy development process considers pre-existing ESG practices, validates against peer practices and aligns this with industry best practices, as well as client-specific aspirations.   

 

03.3. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]


SG 04. ESG/RI in business offerings

04.1. Briefly describe how you include ESG/RI factors as part of your business offerings.

Business area

Reporting

How you include ESG/RI factors

Reporting and communications services include comprehensive responsible investment and ESG reporting:

  • ​Sustainability reporting services, including the planning, preparation and production of disclosure using frameworks, guidelines and standards such as SASB, TCFD, GRI, DJSI and CDP
  • Response support to client RFPs and DDQs
  • Response support to investor disclosure requests, such as PRI, GRESB, TCFD, CDP and proprietary ESG questionnaires

Other, specify (1)

          ESG Strategy
        

How you include ESG/RI factors

Our ESG strategy services include:

  • ESG benchmarking and assessments against standards and frameworks
  • Development or enhancement of sustainability strategy and implementation plans
  • Integration of sustainability into corporate strategy and risk management for underlying assets
  • Materiality analysis
  • Development of key performance indicators
  • Advisory on ESG governance at the company and board level

Other, specify (2)

          ESG Implementation & Audit
        

How you include ESG/RI factors

Our ESG implementation services include:

  • Policy and procedures development
  • Target setting
  • Sustainability and impact measurement and information systems
  • Employee, customer and supplier engagement
  • Greenhouse gas emission and climate change management
  • Organizational role development and training

Our ESG audit services include:

  • Benchmarking of environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives against standards and best practice
  • ESG due diligence services for private equity and alternatives investors
  • Audit readiness
  • Third-party validation of sustainability data and performance measurement
  • Sustainability information systems reliability

04.2. Indicate the roles in your organisation, and indicate for each whether they have oversight and/or implementation responsibilities for ESG/RI within the organisation.

Roles present in your organisation
Oversight/accountability for ESG/RI
Implementation of ESG/RI
Board
Directors
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Other chief-level staff

Please specify

          Engagement managers
        

Please specify

          Engagement managers
        
Other heads of department
Dedicated ESG/RI staff
Other role, specify (1)

Please specify

          All staff
        
Other role, specify (2)
Other role, specify (3)
None of the above

04.3. Indicate how you ensure ESG/RI expertise for the roles where there are RI oversight/accountability or implementation responsibilities.

          Weekly news scan of ESG developments and team sharing session
        

04.4. Indicate whether your organisation has any ESG/RI linked incentives for its employees.

04.5. Describe the ESG/RI linked incentives.

At Quinn & Partners, ESG/RI are linked to incentives in the following manner:

  • ESG-related criteria are formally included in employee performance review procedures for all staff levels. These include, but are not limited to, alignment with and support for our ESG-related corporate values.
  • Our compensation structure incentivizes performance excellence and accountability for the ESG-related professional services we provide. 

04.7. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


SG 05. Outsourcing of services

05.1. Indicate whether you outsource some of your services. Report percentage of services outsourced as percentage for that specific business area.

Business area

SG 06. Providing training/education

06.1. Indicate whether you provide training/educational services on ESG/RI. Tick all that apply.

          Portfolio company training
        
          Divisional and/or departmental training
        
          Stakeholder and/or partner training
        

06.2. Describe the main components of your training/educational services on ESG/RI and any variations depending on the group you provide training/education to.

  • ESG business case
  • ESG drivers
  • ESG regulation
  • ESG empirical studies
  • ESG best practics
  • ESG standards

06.3. Describe whether these training/educational services include any commercial elements.

          We include additional information about relevant services during training/educational sessions, as appropriate.
        

06.4. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

We do general ESG training and asset class/ industry- tailored ESG training


SG 07. Applying, advancing and promoting the PRI principles

07.1. Describe how your organisation applies, advances and promotes the PRI Principles.

Quinn & Partners integrates the PRI Principles into our advisory services. In particular, all of the strategies we develop for clients consider alignment with PRI’s six Principles. We also participate in network activities and promote the adoption of PRI Principles among industry through advocacy and speaking opportunities.

07.2. Highlight whether there are any ways that your organisation would like to engage further with the PRI. [OPTIONAL]

Quinn & Partners would welcome the following ways to further engage with the PRI:

  • Input into the development of additional modules (e.g. hedge fund, agriculture & timbre) or refinement of existing (Property, Infrastructure)
  • Opportunities to present and/or facilitate a session at a PRI event or conference

SG 08. Actions taken to promote responsible investment

08.1. Indicate which of the following actions your organisation has taken to promote responsible investments during the reporting year, independently of collaborative initiatives.

08.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]


SG 09. Long term trends

09.1. Indicate which of the following long-term trends are addressed in your product outputs.

09.2. Explain how this long-term trend affects your product outputs.

These long-term trends affect our services in the following ways:

  • We integrate material long-term trends into our advisory services
  • We contextualize the relevance of the trends for our clients and highlight the implications for their investments and/or business strategy and operations
  • Depending on the degree of importance of the trends to our clients, our analysis and recommendations will be influenced by the trends 

09.2. Explain how this long-term trend affects your product outputs.

These long-term trends affect our services in the following ways:

  • We integrate material long-term trends into our advisory services
  • We contextualize the relevance of the trends for our clients and highlight the implications for their investments and/or business strategy and operations, for example by modelling future scenarios
  • Depending on the degree of importance of the trends to our clients, our analysis and recommendations will be influenced by the trends 

09.2. Explain how this long-term trend affects your product outputs.

These long-term trends affect our services in the following ways:

  • We integrate material long-term trends into our advisory services
  • We contextualize the relevance of the trends for our clients and highlight the implications for their investments and/or business strategy and operations
  • Depending on the degree of importance of the trends to our clients, our analysis and recommendations will be influenced by the trends 

09.2. Explain how this long-term trend affects your product outputs.

These long-term trends affect our services in the following ways:

  • We integrate material long-term trends into our advisory services
  • We contextualize the relevance of the trends for our clients and highlight the implications for their investments and/or business strategy and operations
  • Depending on the degree of importance of the trends to our clients, our analysis and recommendations will be influenced by the trends 
          Regulation
        

09.2. Explain how this long-term trend affects your product outputs.

These long-term trends affect our services in the following ways:

  • We integrate material long-term trends into our advisory services
  • We contextualize the relevance of the trends for our clients and highlight the implications for their investments and/or business strategy and operations
  • Depending on the degree of importance of the trends to our clients, our analysis and recommendations will be influenced by the trends 
          Supply chain responsibility
        

09.2. Explain how this long-term trend affects your product outputs.

These long-term trends affect our services in the following ways:

  • We integrate material long-term trends into our advisory services
  • We contextualize the relevance of the trends for our clients and highlight the implications for their investments and/or business strategy and operations
  • Depending on the degree of importance of the trends to our clients, our analysis and recommendations will be influenced by the trends 

SG 10. Interaction with asset owners (Not Applicable)


SG 11. Aligning approach with investor goals

11.1. Describe how you typically align your organisation’s philosophy and approach to ESG/RI with your investor clients’ goals.

Many of our clients have explicit goals and objectives to maximize risk-adjusted returns but may have different business strategies or structures to achieve their primary goal. Quinn & Partners may be engaged to develop tailored approaches for our clients to integrate ESG issues in support that goal that fit with a particular clients business strategy or structure. For example, we will develop an RI/ESG belief statement that articulates how ESG supports the overall investment goal for the client’s business strategy. 

11.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]


SG 12. ESG recommendations not aligned with investor goals

12.1. Describe what steps you take, if any, when your ESG recommendations are not in line with your investor clients’ goals.

In the majority of cases, our clients seek our advice to help them integrate ESG into their investment practices. To do so, we provide advice using evidence-based expertise and industry best practices to highlight how ESG integration supports our clients’ goals.

In circumstances where our ESG recommendations are not aligned with our clients’ goals, we provide additional information and clarifications as needed, however we respect that it is their prerogative to accept our advice.

We also acknowledge that ESG and sustainability is a journey and have built the concept of continual improvement into our values. One of our corporate values is: responsibility - we always strive for continual improvement for ourselves and our clients, and believe everyone must be change agents.

12.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]


SG 13. Seeking feedback from clients

13.1. Indicate whether you seek feedback from clients on your RI/ESG services and product offerings

13.2. Describe how you use this feedback in your RI/ESG services and product offerings.

Quinn & Partners prides ourselves on providing excellent service based on our commitment to high-quality work. Our client-first approach means that 85% of our annual projects are from recurring clients – the other 15% are referrals.

We strive to continuously improve our services by soliciting feedback from our clients. We use this feedback to learn about our strengths and opportunities for improvement. We also use client feedback on specific projects and share lessons learned across the entire team to ensure we deliver consistent, high-quality advisory services.


SG 14. Managing conflicts of interest

14.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a policy for managing potential conflicts of interest.

14.2. Describe how you manage potential conflicts of interest.

Client promise

We will serve our clients with integrity, competence and objectivity
We will keep client information and records of client engagements confidential and will use proprietary client information only with the client’s permission
We will not allow conflicts of interests which provide a competitive advantage to one client through use of confidential information from another client who is a direct competitor, without permission from that competitor
We will accept only engagements for which we are qualified by our experience and competence
We will respect the intellectual property rights of our clients, other consulting firms, and sole practitioners and will not use proprietary information or methodologies without permission
We will not discuss prices or make any formal or informal agreement with any competitor regarding prices, discounts, business terms or the market segments and channels in which Quinn & Partners operates in

14.3. Describe how you ensure that company employees do not derive any personal gain from the use of information collected during your work process.

When clients ask us to, we will communicate to employees that they cannot purchase public company shares.

14.4. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]


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