July 13, 2009
Speaking at a conference about integrating ESG into portfolios, initiated by Responsible Investor on 25 June in New York, USA, Hanna Roberts talked about a recent approach to corporate engagement, so-called collaborative engagement. GES Investment Services offers this type of service to clients as part of its additional services.
“The GES Engagement Forum is a collaborative engagement tool for an active ownership process, aiming at improving less developed parts of a company’s management systems. The forum offers a meeting point for investors to interact upon companies’ compliance with international norms on ESG”, says Hanna Roberts.
“From where we stand today, all suggests that our clients are inclined to choose partnership with others. We help them recognize the positive effects this can have compared to the traditional way of engagement, i.e. solitary letter writing engagement”.
“Top level engagement requires a lot of commitment and resources. If you join forces you can uphold an efficient and strong investor dialogue. The more assets the investors represent, the better. On the company’s part, it means having one single, focal point of contact. This is why collaborative engagement is beginning to win further ground”, she says.
Today GES Investment Services serves a couple of collaborative initiatives, i.e. clients with similar interests. One of these initiatives is called the Nordic Engagement Cooperation, which was set up in December 2008 by three Nordic pension funds.
“Although we have begun company visits and activities, the partners are still open to participation of other investors and in particular seek a Danish investor to make the Nordic group more complete”.
GES Investment Services is also coordinating a joint UN PRI Clearinghouse activity on behalf of a client regarding Wesfarmers in Perth, Australia on 20 July, 2009. The company is associated to illegal exploitation of natural resources.