Responsible Investing

Proxy Voting

We vote at more than 1000 annual company meetings worldwide, casting our votes in the best interests of clients and based on a pre-agreed set of policy guidelines which are reviewed annually

Click here to access the KBI Global Investors Proxy Voting Policy.

As investors in hundreds of companies worldwide, we have the right to vote, on behalf of our clients, at the annual meetings of those companies. We believe that this is an important right, and one that should be exercised at all times. It is our policy to use proxy voting for all portfolios and for all votes, other than where we are not given this authority by our client, or in countries where voting is impossible or exceptionally difficult for logistical reasons. We have taken the decision to use the services of an outsourced provider, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the leading provider of proxy voting advice and administrative services, to assist us with this activity given their expertise in this area and the resources that they can devote to this issue. ISS make voting recommendations to us, based on a pre-agreed set of policy guidelines which are reviewed annually.

We have adopted the “Sustainability” set of voting guidelines, developed specifically to at least meet the UNPRI principles. Recommendations are made using ESG risk indicators to identify moderate to severe ESG risk factors at public companies, and holding culpable board members accountable for failure to sufficiently oversee, manage, or guard against material ESG risks. Those risk indicators cover several topics including the environment, human rights and impacts of business activities on local communities, labour rights and supply chain risks, consumer product safety, bribery and corruption, and governance and risk oversight failures. The guidelines are generally supportive of shareholder proposals that promote greater disclosure and transparency with regard to corporate environmental and social policies, and reporting on sustainable business practices.

We typically follow the ISS recommendation but the final decision is ours in every case and our Proxy Voting Committee can overrule the ISS recommendation. We have full data on our public website on all our proxy voting activity. The site has full details of every ballot voted including the management recommendation, our voting instruction and the reason for our vote.

In the 12 months to December 2019, as a firm, we voted at 978 meetings worldwide for all our strategies. We voted against management in 8.7% of all proposals, and we voted against management on 35% of shareholder proposals. Shareholder proposals are initiatives put forward by shareholders, usually requesting management to take action on particular issues.

 

On Shareholder Proposals

On Management Proposals

We hope all our clients, service providers, suppliers, colleagues and their families remain safe and well at this time of uncertainty surrounding the Covid19 pandemic. On Friday March 27th the Irish government announced further restrictions on work and movement aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus. In light of this we want to reassure our clients that we continue to operate our business seamlessly at this time through remote access and are available at all times should we be needed. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the careful, coherent and confident stewardship of our clients assets. This remains the case after these latest announcements from the Irish government and the temporary closure of the office to staff.