Our BeliefsSustainability is fundamentally reshaping the competitive landscape across every industry. Companies that respond to this trend and innovate early will reap the benefits of stronger growth prospects, enhanced operating efficiencies, stronger social licence to operate, enhanced staff retention, lower cost of capital and, ultimately, stronger and longer competitive advantages. Consequently, we believe that incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into our investment and ownership decisions supports our pursuit of superior risk-adjusted returns for our clients.
Old Mutual Limited is a signatory of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI). We apply these principles in our investment and ownership practices in a manner that is consistent with Old Mutual’s Responsible Investment Guidelines and endorses the principles outlined in the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA).
Responsible investing enables us to pursue superior, risk-adjusted returns for our clients, while also positively impacting the communities and environments in which we operate. Our approach incorporates three components:
- ESG Integration: Integrating material environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities into all our investment decision-making processes.
- Stewardship: Being responsible stewards of the assets that we already own on behalf of our clients.
- Investing for a green economy: Providing investors with a choice of investment products that deliver green economy outcomes.
We see ESG integration as a way to further enhance our pursuit of superior risk-adjusted investment returns. We understand that ESG issues vary by sector and geography. As such, our processes ensure all material ESG issues are considered through the investment lifecycle – from research to valuation, portfolio construction and stewardship. Given the diverse nature of our investment capabilities, each investment team has a unique approach to integration that is guided by the asset class, investment philosophy and Old Mutual’s Responsible Investment Guidelines.
Our CASE STUDIES below illustrate our approach to integrating ESG into our investment decisions and, post investment, ensuring stewardship of our listed equity positions.
We define stewardship as the active and responsible management of our clients’ assets to ensure that risks are reduced and opportunities are captured. We do this through our active approach to proxy voting at company meetings, engaging with companies and by partnering with regulators and industry bodies to promote regulation that drives market stability, responsible investment and green economic growth.
Proxy voting and engagement activities are integral parts of our investment strategy to enhance sustainable long-term value for our investee companies, clients and broader stakeholders. Our approach to the stewardship of ESG issues with our locally listed companies is outlined in our Listed Equity Stewardship Guidelines, while global assets are directed by Russell Investments Proxy Voting Guidelines.
Our annual Stewardship Reports detail our proxy voting and ESG engagements with investee companies and can be found under POLICIES & GUIDELINES. You can also view our PROXY VOTING RESULTS for individual investee companies.
LISTED EQUITY STEWARDSHIP SERVICES
Our standalone Listed Equity Stewardship Services offer institutional investors the opportunity to steward their asset towards green economy outcomes.
Across Old Mutual, we define green economic growth as growth aligned with socially inclusive, low carbon and resource-efficient outcomes. We believe such growth is the pathway to long-term sustainability.
Through our boutiques and affiliates, we offer investors access to a diverse suite of investments targeting specific green economy outcomes. Our affiliates manage a range of specialist investments that offer clients exposure to renewable energy, land reform, affordable education and gap housing. Our boutiques, on the other hand, manage listed equity products designed to meet a client’s specific green economy needs. These listed equity products fall into two categories:
Rules-based solutions with hard ESG exclusions:
- Our Shari’ah portfolios exclude interest-bearing assets and listed companies involved in, among others, the selling or offering of tobacco, alcohol, certain foods, gambling and weapons. The Shari’ah Supervisory Board oversees our adherence to the applicable Islamic investment principles, including the annual portion of fees that goes to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
- Within our indexation offering, we have solutions that track the MSCI World ESG Leaders and MSCI EM ESG Leaders Indices. These indices have hard exclusions on companies involved in certain “controversial business activities”, such as offering tobacco, alcohol, gambling, nuclear power and weapons. Thereafter, they hold the top 50% of the market, based on ESG ratings. These passive, low-cost solutions provide investors with the opportunity to achieve benchmark-like returns by holding a basket of companies that is measurably better for the planet.
An active ESG solution with a low-carbon tilt:
- Our SA ESG Equity solution leverages our proprietary Old Mutual ESG Profile Score and targets a 20% improvement in the portfolio’s ESG score and a 40% reduction in its carbon intensity relative to the FTSE/JSE Capped Shareholder Weighted All Share Index (Capped SWIX).
The principles and policies that guide our investment and ownership practices can be found in these documents:
- United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI)
- Old Mutual’s Responsible Investment Guidelines
- Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA)
- ICGN Global Governance Principles
- ICGN Global Stewardship Principles
- Listed Equity Stewardship Guidelines
- Russell Investments Proxy Voting Guidelines
- Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act (Reg 28)
Our listed equity Responsible Ownership Reports detail our proxy voting and ESG engagements with investee companies. The annual Impact Reports and CRISA Disclosures, on the other hand, disclose our responsible investing approach across listed and unlisted assets and examine how our investment boutiques integrate ESG considerations into their ownership decisions. You can also view our PROXY VOTING RESULTS for individual investee companies as and when they occur.
- Responsible Investment Report 2016
- Responsible Ownership Report 2016
- CRISA Disclosure - 1 February 2016