At Walter Scott, responsible investing is central to what we do and what we believe. We understand that Environmental, Social and Governance factors, as much as financial metrics, determine the long-term success of an investment.
We are entrusted to invest on behalf of our clients over a long-term investment horizon. As such, we have a duty to fully understand each company in which we invest, including its approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters. Our experience has taught us that only those companies that strive towards appropriate ESG standards are likely to prosper over the long term.
Consideration of a company’s ESG factors is integral to our investment approach. Given the importance of these factors in determining the long-term sustainability of a business, we do not delegate ESG analysis to a separate team. We believe it is essential that each member of our Research team has responsibility for understanding a company’s ESG profile.
Engagement is what we do every day. By actively engaging with a company, we gain a better understanding of its business, including its ESG credentials. It also means we can use our influence as investors to effect meaningful change. We expect every company we invest in to engage on issues of sustainability.
We are members or signatories to a number of select groups that we believe best-represent the industry in pushing for meaningful change or where we feel the educational element will complement our own research in a material way.
Other groups are regularly assessed and we attend events and consider the work of many organisations where for now we have decided against a more formal association.
- PRI signatory since 2017. Our 2020 rating is A+, A, A.
- CDP member
- UK Investment Association member
- Climate Action 100+ member
- International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) member
We want to share our carefully considered thinking and work on ESG matters. Our ESG Library contains our annual and quarterly ESG reports, as well as articles by our Research team and contributions from industry experts, academics and authors.
Through engagement, we signal our intentions and expectations as a long-term shareholder, building strong relationships and achieving a more complete understanding of a company’s strategy and practices.
Recent examples of our engagement with companies can be accessed through the link below.
Considered proxy voting helps us ensure strong corporate governance and protect long-term shareholder value. It allows us to express our views and initiate or contribute to positive change, and to protect and promote the interests of our clients. Our Proxy Voting Policy can be found below, along with details of our proxy voting activity.
Proxy Voting Disclosures
Responsible Investing Policy
We believe integrity, sustainability and governance factors are important in assessing a company’s ability to prosper over the long term. Because of this, we fully integrate our assessment of these factors into our investment process. More details can be found in the link to our Responsible Investing Policy below.
Responsible Investment Approach
At Walter Scott, responsible investment involves the integration of integrity, sustainability and governance considerations throughout our investment process, while acting as trusted stewards of clients’ assets. More details on our approach to responsible investment can be found in the link below.
Shareholder Rights Directive II
The revised EU Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II) is designed to facilitate the exercise of shareholder rights, encourage shareholder engagement with companies and set out new requirements for companies. The emphasis is very much on encouraging long-term shareholder engagement which should improve investee companies’ corporate governance and performance.
We support the aims and ethos of the UK Stewardship Code and Japan’s Stewardship Code and our responses to both are linked below.
We are a Tier 1 signatory to the 2012 UK Stewardship Code. In 2020, the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued an updated code building on the success of the 2012 Code and raising the bar in terms of activity and reporting. Our response to the 2020 Code has been submitted to the FRC for approval in line with its earliest deadline of 31 March 2021. The FRC’s stated intent is to publish a list of all signatories where responses were submitted by that deadline, and then approved, in summer 2021.
Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)
The European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) aims for improved transparency and disclosure among EU financial market participants in respect of the integration of sustainability risks in their investment decision-making process. While SFDR has no direct impact on Walter Scott as a UK-regulated entity, we have chosen to make the following disclosures available on our website, in line with current SFDR requirements.