We think that if a company is run well, it is more likely to be successful in the long run, and that social and environmental issues can have an important impact on a company’s performance and successful development. We have been investing money for individual and institutional clients for more than 80 years and our principles of investing for the long-term, responsible stewardship of our assets and active fund management have been the foundation of our approach throughout.
We are committed to delivering sustainable, long-term returns, which we aim to achieve through a process of fundamental research that considers all the meaningful risks and opportunities affecting companies. We then actively engage with those companies to help understand the issues they are facing, to identify their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strengths and weaknesses and, where they are falling short, to encourage better ESG practices. This is in order to deliver outcomes that serve the combined interests of both our customers and the companies in question. As ESG issues tend to evolve over time, we consider such factors to be a fundamental component of our long-term approach.
We believe that ESG investing is a much more complex and nuanced process than simply screening out companies or industries perceived to be unsavoury – the world is rarely black and white, and our research and engagement with companies is carried out on a case-by-case basis. Because of this, we think that the positive effects of ESG incorporation are one of the elements that make active investing so powerful.
We consider an active and informed voting policy as an integral part of our investment philosophy, which, in our view, should never be divorced from the underlying investment management activity. By exercising our votes, we seek both to add value to our customers and to protect our interests as shareholders. We consider the issues, meet management if necessary, and vote accordingly.
It is important to note that, while we share a common set of principles, resources and infrastructure across M&G, we do not impose “top down” house views and we do not manage by consensus. This is equally true for the ESG strategies fund managers adopt. Indeed, individual investment teams have the autonomy, flexibility and experience to design and implement investment processes in a manner they consider most appropriate to their investment strategy and their customers.
While all of our strategies incorporate ESG factors into their investment process, we also have a number of specific strategies that take a more structured approach to ESG integration. These range across asset classes and include funds that seek to deliver measurable positive impact on society, that are focused on long-term sustainability or that use specific ESG screening criteria to frame their investment universe, for example. For more information on all of our funds, or to find out more about our responsible investment principles, please visit: