Ownership and voting
We use our influence as a shareholder to demonstrate stewardship and encourage companies to manage their environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, improve performance on sustainable investment and to be transparent.
We do this by encouraging high governance standards across markets and asset classes, with a particular focus on the New Zealand market. We exercise our voting rights globally and domestically across the Fund's listed equities.
The importance of voting
Voting rights are important for maintaining shareholder oversight of directors, boards and company policies. Voting is central to our sustainable investment practice and to meeting our obligations under our governing legislation in relation to best practice portfolio management and managing risk.
How we vote
Our broad principles are set out in our Global Voting Policy & Guidelines, reflecting those of the New Zealand Corporate Governance Forum and NZX Corporate Governance Code, as well as the voting guidelines of our elected proxy voting agency, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). Such principles represent the essential elements of good governance, and include transparency, board alignment with shareholder interests, remuneration, business ethics, and protecting voting rights.
For our New Zealand equity holdings, we consider the recommendations of both our proxy voting agency and our New Zealand investment managers, but we make the final voting decisions.
While we will generally vote as set out in these guidelines, in special circumstances we may respond to specific issues on a case-by-case basis.