Pendal is an investment manager with a proud 35-year heritage in and ongoing commitment to leadership in responsible investment (RI). While we offer a range of innovative product solutions to meet clients’ RI-related needs, as a fiduciary and corporate citizen, our approach seeks to embed RI practices across all of our active management practices. We view effective management of our impact upon the environment, the community and other stakeholders as critical to our continued ability to deliver sustainable value to our clients, employees and our shareholders. Further, to meet our duties as a fiduciary, we consider the impacts from environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks upon the investments made on behalf of our clients. Pendal has a Responsible Investments team dedicated to the implementation of RI practices across the business, in addition to Regnan, an independent specialist ESG boutique, which supports Pendal through research, engagement and advisory services.
For many years, we have been progressively factoring in ESG considerations more systematically into our investment process across multiple asset classes – including as a part of the research, analysis and due diligence undertaken – covering issues such as climate change, human capital and ethical conduct. Over this time we have seen first-hand that ESG issues have the potential to affect value, for example by creating new investment opportunities in the clean-tech solutions sector or through findings of poor conduct having a material impact upon the finance sector. We know that the way a company handles ESG issues can provide insights into quality of management and resilience as a business. Where ESG considerations may impact the financial performance of an investment, those factors are taken into account as part of our active investment processes (in the same way as other potential risk factors).
Stewardship, or active ownership, is a natural extension of our active approach to investment management. In being responsible stewards of the capital entrusted to us, we undertake regular engagement with investee companies and exercise our voting rights in the best interests of clients. Through proxy voting and the ongoing dialogue with the management of the companies in which we invest, we can manage risk, effect change and protect value over the long term. We recognise that our actions and decisions can affect practices in the entities in which we invest, in turn affecting the environment, our stakeholders, and the community. We have both a duty and an interest in managing this influence. Part of our stewardship activity includes working together with other investors, typically via a range of industry bodies and initiatives, in order to encourage greater uptake of responsible investment practices within the financial services sector and to support the management of ESG risks and opportunities. Read more on our industry representation here.
Regnan is our independent ESG business unit, specialising in research, engagement and advisory to support responsible investments. While Pendal Group only assumed full ownership of Regnan in February 2019, it has a long history with Regnan dating back to 2001 through Pendal’s association with BT Financial Group. The Regnan team of highly experienced analysts and consultants has an average of 14 years’ experience in responsible investment, providing services to support both ESG integration and values-based approaches such as ethical and sustainability-themed investing. Pendal is one of a number of institutional investors represented in Regnan’s collective engagement program, which sees Regnan undertake outcomes-focused engagement with listed companies across a wide range of issues with the potential to affect financial value. Regnan continues to offer services independently.
Ethical, Sustainable and Impact Investment Products
Pendal has a long history in managing dedicated ethical and sustainable strategies, and we are expanding our offering to impact strategies. The Pendal Sustainable Balanced Fund was launched by the Bankers Trust group in 1984 as the BT Australia Charities Trust. Today, our suite of ethical, sustainable funds and tailored mandates meet the needs of the growing number of clients interested in investing in a manner consistent with their values or interest in sustainability. We currently have approximately A$3 billion in funds under management in solutions across asset classes.
Our Ethical and Sustainable Series funds utilise screening to avoid certain activities or industries, and poor ESG performers, while allocating capital to companies identified as sustainability leaders or those involved in industries which contribute to social and environmental needs. Through its research and advisory, Regnan plays a key role in product design and shaping investment guidelines to ensure a true-to-label approach. Our Ethical and Sustainable Series is comprised of:
• Pendal Ethical Share Fund
• Pendal Sustainable Australian Share Fund
• Pendal Sustainable Balanced Fund
• Pendal Sustainable Conservative Fund
• Pendal Sustainable Australian Fixed Interest Fund
• Pendal Sustainable International Fixed Interest Fund
• Pendal Sustainable International Share Fund
• Pendal Sustainable Future Australian Share Portfolio
The above products have been certified by RIAA, meeting the strict criteria of the organisation’s Responsible Investment Certification Program. Visit www.responsiblereturns.com.au for more information about the Program and our certified products.
In close collaboration with Regnan, we have launched our first impact investment product, the Regnan Credit Impact Trust. The Trust invests in Australian fixed income securities, with a focus on investing in impact bonds to generate social and environmental outcomes, alongside returns. Regnan is actively expanding its impact investing capability, with a specialist global equity impact investing team joining the business in 2020, and we hope this is the first in a series of dedicated impact investing products.
We also work with institutional investor clients to tailor mandates to meet the needs and interests of beneficiaries. Tailored mandates we have developed with clients include low carbon portfolios and portfolios with faith-based exclusions. Find our more here.
PRI reporting and assessment
As signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the leading global investor network and proponent of RI, Pendal Australia, J O Hambro Capital Management and Regnan are committed to implementing the Six Principles. The Principles are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer guidance on possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice. The PRI requires signatories to provide annual disclosures on their RI practices to demonstrate the implementation of the Principles so they may be assessed. Asset Managers receive an assessment report. Please find below the latest Summary Scorecard for Pendal Australia, in which Pendal has retained a solid standing in terms of its overall practices in governance and active stewardship.
You can download the summary scorecard here and a copy of the full report is available upon request.