Institutionele beleggers benadrukken het groeiende belang van ESG bij beslissingen over investeringen en stemmen bij volmacht in een nieuwe Morod Sodali-enquête

Institutionele beleggers met een beheerd vermogen van USD 26 biljoen bevestigen unaniem dat de risico’s en kansen van ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) een steeds belangrijkere rol hebben gespeeld in hun investeringsbeslissingen en hun evaluatie van portefeuillebedrijven tijdens de afgelopen 12 maanden, volgens het jaarlijkse onderzoek van de Institutional Investor van Morrow Sodali, dat vandaag is gepubliceerd.

De Morrow Sodali-enquête belicht de belangrijkste aandachtsgebieden voor institutionele beleggers bij het bepalen hoe zij hun stemrechten kunnen uitoefenen op de jaarlijkse aandeelhoudersvergaderingen in 2020. Uit enquêteresultaten blijkt dat het breed gedefinieerde concept van ESG een directe praktische impact zal hebben op aandeelhoudersvergaderingen, stemmen bij volmacht, betrokkenheid en de verschillende manieren waarop beleggers hun toezicht- en rentmeesterschaps verantwoordelijkheden vervullen.

(vervolg van het persbericht engelstalig)

Several findings stood out:

  • Climate change is at the top of investors’ ESG agenda. All companies, regardless of their sector, should expect increased investor scrutiny on how they approach this issue.
  • Investors expect to be privy to the inner workings of the board, underlining the importance of board/shareholder engagement.
  • In general pay-for-performance continues to dominate as a key pressure point for investors, but increasingly the emphasis is on how companies and boards respond to shareholder concerns and negative votes.
  • Many investors express a need for more explicit non-financial information, which they see as an important indicator of underlying corporate culture, integrity and sustainability. With regards to climate change factors, it is of primary importance to investors that companies clearly show what is the connection to their financial risks and opportunities.

The Morrow Sodali survey, now in its fifth year, was conducted in January 2020. Forty-one global institutional investors, with USD 26 trillion of assets under management in total, responded to the survey.

The survey notably indicated that:

  • Investors are more likely to support activists if the company has weak governance practices, an even more important factor than the credibility of the activist’s proposed business strategy.
  • An overwhelming majority of investors expect companies to demonstrate in their reporting a link between financial risks, opportunities and climate change, with a majority also believing that greater detail around the process to identify these risks and opportunities would significantly improve companies’ climate-related disclosures.
  • Second only to climate change, human capital management is cited by investors as an important sustainability topic that they will focus on when engaging with boards in 2020, with a specific focus on improved disclosure around board involvement in setting the corporate culture in addition to robust health and safety indicators.
  • Investors widely agree that stakeholder engagement approach and outcomes should be included in companies’ reporting together with their explanation of corporate purpose.
  • ESG and sustainability are playing a more important role in fixed income investment decisions, with ESG rating agencies having established themselves as an essential factor in analyzing risks and opportunities, in addition to the credit rating agencies.

Kiran Vasantham, Director of Investor Engagement, said: With ESG now firmly in the investor mainstream, we strongly believe that companies must proactively manage this at the board level, essentially as a two-way communication area with their shareholders and investors. ESG is a journey, not a destination. Companies that fail to fully appreciate the need to engage risk losing touch with the expectations of their most loyal long-term providers of capital and weakening these important relationships. I am delighted and grateful that a broad cross-section of investors took part in the survey, as it provides valuable insights about asset managers’ priorities and a heads-up for companies about the ESG issues that will impact investment and voting decisions in 2020.

Download the full report of Morrow Sodali’s Institutional Investor Survey 2020

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