We engage with businesses in our portfolio in order to understand them better and to encourage a more progressive approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Engagement is undertaken directly by members of WHEB’s investment team and any new insights or information is fed directly back into the investment process.
Company engagement in 2019 (by topic)
Governance (not ESG Related)
ESG Disclosure and Governance
In 2019, we engaged with 43 individual companies representing 83% of the companies held in the investment strategy at the year end.
In many cases we engage businesses on more than one issue in the course of the year. In total there were 112 separate engagements with companies. The majority of engagement is on corporate governance issues like the independence of board directors or CEO remuneration (32% of all engagements). 24% of engagement was focused on encouraging more and better ESG disclosure from companies. The remainder address social issues like gender diversity (23%) and environmental issues like climate change (21%).
Effectiveness of company engagement
We also capture information on how successful we believe we have been with our engagement.
A ‘successful’ engagement is one where the company agrees to amend its approach to the issue in question. A ‘partially successful’ engagement is one where the company acknowledges our concern and agrees to consider it but does not commit to change anything. An ‘unsuccessful’ engagement is one where the company either does not respond to us or refuses to amend its practices.