The UK Stewardship Code 2020 (the Code), which became effective on 1 January 2020, sets high stewardship standards for asset managers, asset owners and service providers.
The Code defines stewardship as 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 Financial Reporting Council (FRC) requires all Code signatories to publish an annual statement online showing the extent to which they have complied with the Code, detailing how the principles of the Code have been applied, and disclosing specific information.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also requires signatories to publish a statement online regarding the nature of their commitment to the Code. Additionally, in line with SRD II requirements, the FCA also requires asset managers to disclose annually how their engagement policies have been implemented. This disclosure must include a general description of voting behaviour, an explanation of the most significant votes and the use of the services of proxy advisers.
This document explains how Sarasin & Partners complies with the 2020 Stewardship Code on behalf of our clients for all our holdings globally, to meet both FRC and FCA/SRD II requirements. We hope that it demonstrates to our clients – and other interested stakeholders – that we go above and beyond expectations in our implementation of the Stewardship Principles. We do not perceive stewardship as a compliance exercise but rather a core part of our investment philosophy, and this defines how we operate.