The strategy was launched in June 1988, and since September 2019 has been a dedicated sustainability strategy. This equity-only strategy aims to achieve long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of between 30-60 companies in the Asia Pacific region, including Japan, that are helping to bring about a more sustainable future.
The ability to invest directly in Japan allows clients to own high-quality Japanese companies far earlier in their Asian growth journeys, as well as accessing a greater pool of domestic companies with attractive growth opportunities that are positioned to contribute to, and benefit from, sustainable development.
Strategy highlights: a focus on quality and sustainability
- Companies must contribute to sustainable development. Portfolio Explorer >
- We invest in high-quality companies with exceptional cultures, strong franchises and resilient financials. How we pick companies >
- We avoid companies linked to harmful activities and engage and vote for positive change. Our position on harmful products >
- Our approach is long-term, bottom-up, high conviction and benchmark agnostic
- We focus on capital preservation as well as capital growth – we define risk as the permanent loss of client capital
Proxy voting: Q4 2023
Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability proxy voting: 1 October - 31 December 2023
During the quarter there were 99 resolutions from 16 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we did not vote against any resolutions.
We abstained from voting on the approval of a renewed liability insurance for Directors, Supervisors, and Senior Management at Midea Group as we did not have sufficient information on the details of the insurance policy at the time of voting. (one resolution)
Proxy voting: Q3 2023
Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability proxy voting: 1 July - 30 September 2023
During the quarter there were 167 resolutions from 23 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against three resolutions.
We voted against a related party transaction at Kingmed Diagnostics Group which would transfer 73% ownership of a subsidiary pharmaceutical company to the Deputy General Manager of the listco. We could not find any reasons behind the sale nor the valuation at which the transaction would happen. (one resolution)
We voted against Philippine Seven’s request for management to approve all other business matters before the annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders. We consider ourselves active shareholders and prefer to vote on such matters at the AGM. (one resolution)
We voted against the appointment of the auditor and the company’s ability to set auditor fees at Vitasoy as they have been in place for over 10 years and the company has given no information on intended rotation. We believe rotating an auditor on a relatively frequent basis (e.g. every 5-10 years) helps to ensure a fresh pair of eyes are examining the accounts, and follows best practice. (one resolution)
Proxy voting: Q2 2023
Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability proxy voting: 1 April - 30 June 2023
During the quarter there were 286 resolutions from 32 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against 11 resolutions.
We voted against Aavas Financiers' request to reprice options granted under various equity stock option plans for employees due to a share price fall. We do not believe this request is in shareholders’ interest. (three resolutions)
We voted against Foshan Haitian Flavouring’s request to approve connected transactions entered into between the Company and related entities and their respective annual caps. We do not believe these requests are in shareholders’ interests. (two resolutions)
We voted against the appointment of the auditor at Foshan Haitian Flavouring, Glodon and Yifeng Pharmacy Chain as they have been in place for over 10 years and the companies have given no information on intended rotation. We believe rotating an auditor on a relatively frequent basis (e.g. every 5-10 years) helps to ensure a fresh pair of eyes are examining the accounts, and follows best practice. (three resolutions)
We voted against Pentamaster’s request to issue shares without pre-emptive rights, as the share discount rate had not been disclosed. (one resolution)
We voted against Vinda International’s request to issue shares without pre-emptive rights and issue repurchased shares, as the share discount rate had not been disclosed. (two resolutions)
Proxy voting: Q1 2023
Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability proxy voting: 1 January - 31 March 2023
During the quarter, there were 65 resolutions from eleven companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against one resolution.
We voted against Amoy Diagnostics’ request to increase share capital and share count as we did not have sufficient information at the time of voting for the justification of these amendments to articles. (one resolution)
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For illustrative purposes only. Reference to the names of example company names mentioned in this communication is merely for explaining the investment strategy and should not be construed as investment advice or investment recommendation of those companies. Companies mentioned herein may or may not form part of the holdings of Stewart Investors. Holdings are subject to change.
Certain statements, estimates, and projections in this document may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Stewart Investors’ current assumptions and beliefs, in light of currently available information, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual actions or results may differ materially from those discussed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. There is no certainty that current conditions will last, and Stewart Investors undertakes no obligation to correct, revise or update information herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Source: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. Securities mentioned are all investee companies* from representative Asia Pacific Sustainability Strategy, Asia Pacific & Japan Sustainability Strategy, Asia Pacific Leaders Sustainability Strategy, European Sustainability Strategy, European (ex UK) Sustainability Strategy, Global Emerging Markets Leaders Sustainability Strategy, Global Emerging Markets Sustainability Strategy, Indian Subcontinent Sustainability Strategy, Worldwide Sustainability Strategy and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability Strategy accounts as at 31 December 2023. *Assets that the strategies may hold which an active decision has not been made, and sustainability assessment does not apply, include cash, cash equivalents, short-term holdings for the purpose of efficient portfolio management and holdings received as a result of mandatory corporate actions. Holdings of such assets will not appear on Portfolio Explorer.
The Stewart Investors supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The full list of SDGs can be found on the United Nations website.
Source for Climate Solutions and impact figures: © 2014–2024 Project Drawdown (drawdown.org). Source for Human Development Pillars: Stewart Investors investment team.
Source for climate solutions and human development analysis and mapping: Stewart Investors investment team. Contributions are defined by the team as demonstrable contributions to any solution, either direct (directly attributable to products, services or practices provided by that company), or enabling (supported or made possible by products or technologies provided by that company).