Regnan’s 2020 engagement report shows progress on key issues
EACH year responsible investment adviser Regnan engages with a range of ASX-listed companies seeking better management of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues.
Here Regnan’s Head of Engagement Alison Ewings (pictured) outlines our progress
REGNAN’s corporate engagement work encourages market disclosures that support better decision-making, improved responses to climate-related risks, greater oversight of conduct and progress in corporate governance issues.
In 2020 the work could not be more relevant after a horror Australian bushfire season, closely followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and global debate on inequality highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Regnan — a wholly owned subsidary of Pendal — has just released its annual Engagement Impact Report covering the outcomes of its meetings with 41 companies over the past year.
The report shines a light on the importance of three key issues: capacity, resilience and interdependency.
“ESG engagement has often sought assurances regarding capacity and resilience — invisible assets that can receive scant attention when things are going well,” the report says.
“This year has provided an opportunity to test and underscore the importance of these, from straightforward aspects such as director over-commitment, to more complex questions of maintaining an appropriate balance between efficiency and resilience.
“But the pandemic has also revealed the extent of interdependencies within our system, many of which lie beyond the boundaries of the portfolios in which we invest.”
The good news is, Australian companes are listening and acting.
More than 95% of Regnan’s active engagements have demonstrated progress, including 79% in the past 12 months.
As well as reporting on the impact of its ESG engagement with companies, Regnan also explores the implications of current world events for active asset owners.
Engagement on complex social issues has increased relative to previous years, the report notes.
Political lobbying, supply chain and issues of cultural heritage and stakeholder relations all feature more prominently, attracting media and community attention.
On the topic of modern slavery legislation Regnan encourages a “beyond compliance” approach focused on making a meaningful difference.
Regnan is a global leader in long-term value, systemic risk analysis and responsible investment advice.
Last year Regnan appointed a London-based impact investment team to launch a Global Equity Impact strategy in late 2020.
Regnan recently co-authored a paper with the Principles for Responsible Investment, Active Ownership 2.0, which includes tips for owners seeking to be more active.
Regnan is wholly owned by Pendal Group.