As a responsible investor, we work to ensure that ESG factors and high standards of stewardship are embedded throughout our investment process – and we’ve been pleased to receive external recognition, in the UK and Australia, that backs up our work.
We have been included in the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) list of entities assessed as meeting the standards to be a signatory to the new UK Stewardship Code. The code came into force on 1 January 2020, introducing a new definition for ‘stewardship’: the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society.
The assessment was based on our Stewardship Report for 2020, which sets out how our approach to stewardship is aligned with the code’s principles. Mike Everett, Head of Stewardship, ESG Investment, abrdn, commented:
“We have supported the development of high standards of stewardship for many years and recognise the UK Stewardship Code 2020 as a significant further raising of the standards – increasing the scope to all asset classes and widening its application to important aspects such as governance, risk management and collaborative engagement.
We have found that the process of creating an annual report to demonstrate our achievement of the principles has challenged us to deliver more transparent disclosure. We believe that this will benefit our clients and wider stakeholders who seek to assess our stewardship activities.
We are pleased that the FRC has deemed us to have met the standards required to be a signatory of the stewardship code, which we believe will be viewed positively by our clients and colleagues.”
Our inclusion as a UK Stewardship Code signatory closely followed the news that we are one of Australia’s top 10 responsible investment leaders for 2021, according to a report by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA).
RIAA’s Responsible Investment Benchmark Report is the most comprehensive review of the responsible investment sector in the country. This year’s report, which is the 20th report, reviewed the investment practices of 198 financial institutions. We have been assessed against RIAA’s scorecard as demonstrating leading practice based on our performance in 2020.
Brett Jollie, Managing Director for our business in Australia, said:
“We are thrilled to be recognised as a Top 10 leader in 2021, reinforcing our long track record in responsible investing in Australia. There is a huge opportunity to meet growing client demand – already this year we have signalled our commitment through our first sustainable Australian equity product and the launch of the abrdn Sustainability Institute in the region.
We believe very strongly in the merits of sustainable investing, and our clients are seeking to align themselves with fund managers which share their values.”
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