The first stewardship code was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2010, with the objective of enhancing the quality of engagement between asset managers and companies to help improve long-term risk-adjusted returns to shareholders. In early 2014, Japan was the first country in Asia to introduce a stewardship code. The International Corporate Governance Network has launched a Global Stewardship Code.
Although stewardship codes are not compulsory, they are increasingly viewed as a condition if companies wish to retain business. Japan’s largest pension fund GPIF, for example, requires its asset managers to be a signatory to the Japanese Stewardship Code.
Our stewardship policy
Sustainable investing is a key pillar of our corporate strategy. We are convinced that companies with sustainable business practices have a competitive advantage and are more successful in the long-term. An active approach to the stewardship of the assets in which we invest is an important part of our sustainable investing approach. Robeco fully supports the approach of stewardship and has put in place several robust policies to adhere to its responsibilities in this respect.
Carrying out stewardship responsibilities is an integral part of our sustainable investing approach. A central aspect of Robeco’ s corporate mission statement is to fulfill its fiduciary duty to clients and beneficiaries. We manage assets for a variety of clients with a variety of investment needs. In our activities we always strive to serve our clients’ interests to the best of our capabilities. Our stewardship policy is closely aligned with our investment mission, which is to use research-based, quality driven processes to produce the best possible long term results for our clients. Therefor our stewardship activities are aimed at long term value creation in our investee portfolio companies. Even though assets are managed with different strategies and investment objectives to fit clients’ needs, there is a companywide philosophy that companies (and countries) that act in a sustainable way towards the environment, society and all its stakeholders are likely to be more able to deal with a variety of issues in the future of their business or endeavors.