Institutional investors should publicly disclose their policy on how they will discharge their stewardship responsibilities.
Investec Asset Management discloses our policy on stewardship through our stewardship statement and stewardship policy. This deals in detail with the relevant integration of stewardship in our investment processes, our policy on voting and the fact that we believe the application of any code, in any jurisdiction, should be on a comply or explain basis.
Institutional investors should have a robust policy on managing conflicts of interest in relation to stewardship and this policy should be publicly disclosed.
The Investec Asset Management Stewardship Policy covers our conflicts of interest policy and the Investec Asset Management Corporate Governance Committee deals with any conflicts of interest that arise. A copy of our Conflicts of Interest Policy and Code of Ethics is available from the Head of Compliance.
Institutional investors should monitor their investee companies.
Investec Asset Management’s portfolio managers monitor and, where appropriate, engage with investee companies. This monitoring may include an assessment of the strategic governance of the companies in which we invest and includes a clear audit trail of voting where applicable. Investec Asset Management does not generally attend company AGMs but will do so when we consider this necessary or appropriate.
Institutional Investors should establish clear guidelines on when and how they will escalate their activities as a method of protecting and enhancing shareholder value.
Investec Asset Management’s proxy guidelines provide a comprehensive review of those areas where we believe escalation may be necessary. However, we do not have a set approach for how this will happen as the circumstances and method may be different both across issues and over time.
Institutional investors should be willing to act collectively with other investors where appropriate.
Investec Asset Management may work with other shareholders from time to time to promote good governance and to prevent the destruction of value. When seeking to resolve any issue our preference is always to achieve it in a manner that is not detrimental to our own holding. Investec Asset Management also believes that the “concert party” defence by boards in certain jurisdictions is typically unfounded.
Institutional investors should have a clear policy on voting and disclosure of voting activity.
The Investec Asset Management Stewardship Policy and Investec Asset Management Proxy Guidelines set out our policy on voting. We aim to vote as many shares as are practical given local market regulations (e.g. around share blocking). The implementation of the Investec Asset Management Proxy guidelines is facilitated by our proxy voting partner.
Institutional investors should report periodically on their stewardship and voting activities.
Investec Asset Management is very supportive of clients that take an active interest in fulfilling their ownership responsibilities and while reporting is customised to meet specific requirements, it is our intention to make sure clients are kept well informed on a timely basis on how their ownership responsibilities are being fulfilled.