Governance & Active Ownership

Adding value through active ownership

RobecoSAM's Sustainability Investing offering is complemented by a range of customized engagement services to align with investors' particular strategies and objectives. Asset owners, managers and advisers can draw on these services to implement proprietary ESG integration strategies and comply with the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). In addition, our engagement team ensures that environmental, social and governance factors are fully integrated into all of Robeco's mainstream investment strategies and practices. All our engagement services have one goal: to add value to clients' portfolios through active ownership.


Active ownership
Our parent company, Robeco has been encouraging the management teams of companies in which it invests to implement good corporate governance and responsible policies since 2005. Issues such as corporate structure, controlling rights, profit distribution, social policy, and the environment can all be covered in our discussions with these companies.

Voting
Robeco has been voting on behalf of institutional clients since 1998. Today, we vote on behalf of nearly all of our institutional funds, including the delivery of voting reports for our investors in these funds. These reports are customized to meet the requirements of institutional investors, who can use the information they provide in their own reporting.

Our voting policy is based on the internationally-accepted principles of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), which provide a broad framework for assessing companies' corporate governance practices. The ICGN principles provide enough scope for companies to be assessed according to local standards, national legislation and corporate-governance codes of conduct. Company-specific circumstances and the management's explanation of company policy are also taken into account

Exclusions
We believe in exerting influence to improve ESG issues through active ownership and therefore advocate dialogue, collaborative initiatives and proxy voting policy rather than exclusion.

Excluding a company from our investment universe represents our action of last resort, only to be used after all other dialogue-based methods have failedbeen exhausted. If a company persists with a highly controversial behavior despite our best efforts to persuade it to improve its practices, we will exclude it from our universe.

Our exclusion policy is based on the following guidelines:

  • Exclusion of companies manufacturing controversial weapons (anti-personnel mines, cluster weapons, chemical and biological weapons), conforming to the most relevant treaties: the Ottawa Treaty (1997) on anti-personnel mines; the Oslo Treaty (2008) on cluster bombs; the Chemical Weapons Convention (1997); the Biological Weapons Convention ('75). 
  • Exclusion of government bonds from controversial countries in accordance with the UN Security Council (Somalia, North Korea and Iran). 
  • Exclusions of companies violating the United Nations Global Compact principles, following an enhanced engagement process.