Voting guidelines

Issuers of equity – and the investors buying those equities – should recognise constructive engagement as both a right and responsibility. The right to vote on company resolutions is a key tool for investors and they should feel duty-bound to use it.

We acknowledge that we are the stewards, not the owners, of the assets that we invest, and take our stewardship responsibilities seriously.  We believe that it is in our clients’ best interests to vote on all company resolutions, both domestic and overseas, and aim to do so whenever possible.

When we vote, we seek to promote exemplary corporate governance and to reflect the underlying values of our client base. Our approach to voting is applied to all portfolios under our management, although clients with discretionary mandates can select alternate voting policies.

Our voting guidelines incorporate both our position on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and our main engagement themes. This ensures consistency across all of our stewardship activity.

Our guidelines are reviewed annually and administered by proxy voting provider, ISS, who work to a bespoke template. We retain the right to override our template guidelines where, for example, a company has provided additional information directly to us, or where we are undergoing a multi-year engagement programme. This provides an important qualitative overlay to our voting position.

Every vote that we cast on behalf of our clients is internally assessed and verified, and stored for a minimum of five years.