Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) has published a set of Global Stewardship Principles to be adopted across its business.
Developed and endorsed by CFSGAM's Global Responsible Investment Committee which is comprised of the chief executive plus representatives from investment, distribution, and other teams; the Global Stewardship Principles outline the CFSGAM approach to ensure that client interests are at the core of its investment process.
Designed to be compliant with the current disclosure requirements for the UK and other stewardship codes, the principles guide CFSGAM's approach to managing conflicts of interest, monitoring and engaging with senior management of companies, intelligently executing voting rights, collaborating with other investors and how the stewardship activities will be disclosed, assured and reported.
The implementation of the Global Stewardship Principles will subjected to an annual quality assurance process from this year onwards.
"At Colonial First State Global Asset Management, we recognise our significant responsibilities as stewards of our clients' assets. Our role as stewards is to ensure that we always act in our clients' best interest and protect and enhance their capital over the long term," CFSGAM chief executive Mark Lazberger said.
"The responsibilities associated with this important role include maintaining the integrity and quality of the markets in which we operate and the allocation of investment capital to productive purposes. Our global stewardship principles will ensure that we always put the best interests of our clients first when making investment decisions."
CFSGAM global head of responsible investment Will Oulton added: "As a leading global asset manager a single set of globally applicable stewardship principles is in line with our approach to responsible investment.
"Actively monitoring and engaging with company management and diligently executing our ownership obligations are central to our stewardship responsibilities. We have taken this commitment one step further by formally developing this global set of stewardship principles across our global investment business."
The issue of responsible investment is gathering momentum in the pensions and investments world and is particularly pertinent in Australia where the pool of pension assets is growing increasingly large.
The first Stewardship Code was launched in the UK in 2010 with support of the UK National Association of Pension Funds and other leading global investors. Since then, a number of other jurisdictions have also codified stewardship practices in their domestic markets.
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