Taking the long-term view is more important than ever – and that means embracing sustainability in our day-to-day investment decisions, active ownership and reporting practices.
Investing for a sustainable world
With more than 100 years of investment experience between our teams, ASW is used to taking the long view. In so doing, we consider not just the needs and desires of today’s generation but also those of tomorrow’s. Developing sustainable investment solutions takes foresight, time and stamina. As the world changes, so too must the way we look at investment as a whole.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Towards a more responsible form of capitalism
A growing body of investors, from the professional pension provider to the couple saving for their children's education, expect investment managers to incorporate environmental, social and governance criteria into their decision-making processes, alongside traditional financial metrics.
The investor community is a key force for positive change, driving progress, as well as funding new technologies. ASW and many of our clients are allocating capital to finance the real economy, with the needs of future generations in mind. We are developing a broader view of what we are investing in, establishing a better, more robust process that can deliver strong sustainable returns.
We are committed advocates of responsible investing and want to play an active role by encouraging sustainable finance. The industry must be steered towards more inclusive thinking around people, planet and portfolios, because over the long term, they are inextricably linked.
For ASW, measuring and sharing the impact of investing is key for bringing the transparency that differentiates true integration from simple box-ticking. To this end, we are concretely integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects in our investment processes, risk management and reporting practices, and also upstream in our economic research and financial analysis.
“We believe that, irrespective of collective public sector action on moving to a carbon-neutral economy, companies in the private sector should also advance this objective independently. As we have full control of our balance sheet, this is one undertaking that we can make now.”
Head of Trading
A call to index providers
Not investing in companies that have any involvement in the production of controversial weapons is key. This is why we have joined forces with other asset owners and asset managers to jointly call upon index providers to exclude the companies involved from their mainstream indices.
ASW has a strict exclusion policy on companies involved in controversial weapons for all its actively managed strategies. Such weapons may cause indiscriminate or disproportionate harm and their use is banned or restricted under international conventions.
These include cluster munitions, antipersonnel mines, chemical and biological, as well as nuclear weapons that are produced for countries that have not signed the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
As part of this commitment, in August 2018, ASW ― has joined a collaborative initiative together with SSF, with the aim of removing controversial weapons manufacturers from mainstream indices and benchmarks.
So far, the initiative has secured the backing of 140 signatories controlling GBP 6.9 trillion and including asset owners and managers.
Open letter to index providers
At the end of January 2019, SSF sent its “Open letter to global index providers on the exclusion of controversial weapons” to raise their awareness and obtain their support.
“A global coalition of investors is pressuring index providers to drop controversial weapons manufacturers from mainstream benchmarks.”
The Financial Times
Index providers need to reflect investor practices and expectations, if such exclusions became embedded in index-construction rules, it would raise the stakes for those companies involved in such activities and promote greater transparency.
Leveraging the power of investors to trigger change
Active ownership: proxy voting and ESG engagement activities
Being a responsible investor requires exercising voting rights in the best interests of clients and engaging with companies and sovereign issuers
As an active manager, we strongly believe that taking account of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations can help us make better long-term investment decisions for our clients. Furthermore, we believe in leveraging the power of investors to trigger positive change. This involves exercising our voting rights systematically in the best interests of our clients and engaging directly with the companies we invest in when we have ESG concerns.
We look forward to continuing our active ownership activities in 2020, both bilaterally and through collaboration with industry partners.
"We believe that leveraging the power of investors to trigger positive change helps shape a more sustainable form of capitalism"
Wealth management ― Aiming to be responsible
By embedding responsible investing aspects at every stage of our value chain, we give our clients a thorough understanding of sustainable issues surrounding the management of their wealth.
Asset management ― Investing for tomorrow
We offer professional investors full expertise for them to invest in thematic strategies that contribute to solving environmental and social challenges, as well as Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), and equity and fixed income strategies that incorporate ESG considerations.
We are firmly convinced that it is necessary to adopt and promote sustainable investing and trading within our industry. We therefore make sure to only utilise providers that have already taken steps to address how the global markets can move towards a more sustainable and responsible trading environment.
Partnerships and commitments to sustainability
ASW adheres to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and partners with organisations that promote sustainability.