At Investec Asset Management we are committed, both as a business and as individuals, to using our skills, experience and resources to make a sustainable, positive impact on society. Our commitment to sustainability and transformation in developing markets is particularly important. Our socially responsible principles inform every area of our work.
Maximising long-term shareholder value is key for our clients, our reputation and our track record as active managers. We put sustainability at the heart of our investment process, using our research to find sustainable companies with a history of value creation. Our principle is to pursue corporate activity where shareholder value can be enhanced and to take a stand against policies that destroy shareholder value.
Within our overriding obligation to safeguard shareholder value, we support several initiatives aimed at encouraging socially responsible practices.
- We are a member of the Enhanced Analytics Initiative, an international collaboration of asset managers and owners that encourages research into the impact of extra financial issues on long-term company performance
- Working in partnership with the Investment Management Association of South Africa, we prepared the Financial Services Charter council guidelines for investment managers
- Our Balanced Targeted Development Investment Fund seeks to invest in opportunities with a discernable social and sustainability character
Significant progress has been made in transforming our South African business, as verified by our Financial Sector Charter score (‘A’ rating) for 2004 and 2005 by independent economic empowerment rating and research agency EmpowerDex.
Education: empowering our clients
We have several initiatives aimed at empowering and educating retirement fund trustees, our clients and independent financial advisers, including, in partnership with the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, the Investec UCT Trustee Education Centre.
Employment: aiming for a diverse workplace
We are committed to becoming a more diverse and representative workplace. We are doing this by employing, developing and retaining professionals in an environment that promotes equal opportunities to people of all cultures and genders and by increasing the black talent pool in the South African investment industry through focused graduate recruitment and systematic development and training.
Procurement: sourcing sustainability
As a consumer, we are aware of environmental and social issues in the sourcing process and believe in using our buying power to reward transformed businesses and to signal our priorities and intentions. In South Africa we support the development of black owned businesses and use an electronic profiling system (b1SA) to manage our preferential procurement process.
Community: direct involvement
We believe that making a difference involves engaging directly with the community. In the UK most of our efforts are directed to projects where we can collaborate with external partners and which facilitate personal engagement by staff with beneficiaries. In South Africa we are active in various broader community initiatives, including sponsorship of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation’s Annual Transformation Audit, ongoing contribution to the JL Zwane Community Centre in Gugulethu and support of the Investec Community Fund which contributes to a number of poverty relief, educational and emergency organisations in the greater Cape Town area.