European (ex UK) Sustainability

European (ex UK) Sustainability

Investing in 30-45 companies in Europe (excluding the UK), the strategy was launched in January 2022. 

We invest in companies that we consider to be the very best sustainability companies in Europe. These businesses have strong and competitive franchises, exceptional people and distinctive cultures, and resilient financials. Individually and collectively they are solving difficult problems, meeting critical needs, and helping bring about a more sustainable future.

By focusing on the highest quality and best sustainability companies in Europe, we believe we can offer an exciting portfolio that stands out from the crowd.

For European investors this strategy is available in our VCC but due to regional differences includes UK companies.

Why invest in European companies?

World-leading sustainability companies

  • Europe has a large listed universe, including world-leading health care, clean energy, manufacturing and IT companies
  • Many of these companies have large and growing end-markets, including in many emerging economies, and a strong presence globally and locally

Exceptional people and cultures

  • Many companies are run by outstanding management teams and are often controlled by long-term stewards – foundations, families and entrepreneurs
  • Europe has a high concentration of companies with strong cultures, great franchises, and healthy balance sheets and financial characteristics

Sustainability tailwinds

  • Social norms, policies and regulations are often favourable for companies advancing sustainable technologies and solutions
  • European companies are known and respected for setting high standards

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

Latest insights

Quarterly updates

Strategy update: Q1 2024

European (ex UK) Sustainability strategy update: 1 January - 31 March 2024

Following a stronger performance profile in the last quarter of 2023, the first quarter of 2024 has been relatively flat. The strategy portfolio performance was behind the MSCI AC Europe Index which was boosted in part by easing monetary policy and hopes for a soft economic landing.

During the quarter we took the opportunity to build up some of the newer positions we added in 2023, including Teqnion (Sweden: Industrials), the founder owned, serial acquirer of diverse businesses; Nexans (France: Industrials), the maker of electrical cabling used in renewable energy, and Addtech (Sweden: Industrials), a long-term owner of 150+ electrification, clean energy, automation, process technology businesses. We also took the opportunity to add to Elisa (Finland: Communications Services) which became more reasonably valued as a result of subdued revenue growth in the short term.

Valuation concerns and a need to manage position sizes led us to trim positions in Ringkjøbing Landbobank (Denmark: Financials), Novonesis (Denmark: Materials) and Adyen (Netherlands: Financials). Adyen had a particularly strong quarter, rising more than 145%1 since a period of weakness last year.

Over the course of the quarter, we exited Tomra (Norway: Industrials) to make room for two faster growing eastern European companies: Dino Polska (Poland: Consumer Staples), a vertically integrated, low-cost grocery retailer, and Allegro (Poland: Consumer Staples), Poland’s number one e-commerce platform that is expanding into Eastern Europe.

As ever, we continue to focus on long-term capital preservation as the bedrock of capital appreciation, and on ensuring the portfolio can weather most macro environments. Looking forward, we are excited by the quality, and diverse nature of the companies we hold, and their ability to contribute to, and benefit from, sustainable development.

1 Source: Factset

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Named new investments disclosed relate to holdings with a portfolio weight over 0.5%. It is not a recommendation or solicitation to purchase or invest in any fund. Differences between the representative account-specific constraints, currency or fees and those of a similarly managed fund or mandate would affect results.

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Stewart Investors Quarterly Client Update Q1 2024

1 January- 31 March 2024

Risk factors

This material is a financial promotion for the Stewart Investors Sustainable Funds Group strategies – Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability, Asia Pacific Leaders Sustainability, Asia Pacific Sustainability, European Sustainability, European (ex UK) Sustainability, Global Emerging Markets Sustainability, Global Emerging Markets Leaders Sustainability, Indian Subcontinent Sustainability, Worldwide Sustainability and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability – and is intended for professional clients only in the UK, Switzerland and EEA and professional clients elsewhere where lawful.

Within the EU/EEA and Switzerland, the European (ex UK) strategy is only available to investors via a segregated mandate account.

Investing involves certain risks including:

  • The value of investments and any income from them may go down as well as up and are not guaranteed. Investors may get back significantly less than the original amount invested.
  • Emerging market risk: Emerging markets tend to be more sensitive to economic and political conditions than developed markets. Other factors include greater liquidity risk, restrictions on investment or transfer of assets, failed/delayed settlement and difficulties valuing securities.
  • Indian Subcontinent risk: although India has seen rapid economic and structural development, investing there may still involve increased risks of political and governmental intervention, potentially limitations on the allocation of the strategy’s capital, and legal, regulatory, economic and other risks including greater liquidity risk, restrictions on investment or transfer of assets, failed/delayed settlement and difficulties valuing securities.
  • Specific region risk: investing in a specific region  may be riskier than investing in a number of different countries or regions. Investing in a larger number of countries or regions helps spread risk.
  • Currency risk: the strategies invest in assets which are denominated in other currencies; changes in exchange rates will affect the value of the strategies and could create losses. Currency control decisions made by governments could affect the value of the strategies’ investments and could cause the strategies to defer or suspend redemptions of shares.
  • Concentration risk: the European Sustainability and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability strategies referred to in this material invest in a relatively small number of companies which may be riskier than a strategy that invests in a large number of companies.
  • Smaller companies risk: investments in smaller companies may be riskier and more difficult to buy and sell than investments in larger companies.

Where featured, specific securities or companies are intended as an illustration of investment strategy only, and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security.

If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of our strategies for your investment needs, please seek investment advice.

Investment philosophy

  • We are stewards: Our role is to allocate society’s capital to productive uses, in accordance with our Hippocratic Oath
  • We are long term: Our time horizon is measured in years, not weeks, and we value companies accordingly
  • We invest only in companies contributing to a more sustainable future: We engage constructively as owners to help companies on their sustainability journeys
  • We invest only in high-quality companies: We seek out companies with exceptional cultures, strong franchises and resilient financials
  • We believe capital preservation is important for capital growth: We define risk as the possibility of the permanent loss of client capital

Investment objective

To generate attractive long-term, risk-adjusted returns by investing in the shares of high-quality companies that are particularly well positioned to contribute to, and benefit from sustainable development.

Important information

This material is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute investment or financial advice and does not take into account any specific investment objectives, financial situation or needs. This is not an offer to provide asset management services, is not a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any security or to execute any agreement for portfolio management or investment advisory services and this material has not been prepared in connection with any such offer. Before making any investment decision you should conduct your own due diligence and consider your individual investment needs, objectives and financial situation and read the relevant offering documents for details including the risk factors disclosure. Any person who acts upon, or changes their investment position in reliance on, the information contained in these materials does so entirely at their own risk.

We have taken reasonable care to ensure that this material is accurate, current, and complete and fit for its intended purpose and audience as at the date of publication but the information contained in the material may be subject to change thereafter without notice.

No assurance is given or liability accepted regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of this material.

To the extent this material contains any expression of opinion or forward-looking statements, such opinions and statements are based on assumptions, matters and sources believed to be true and reliable at the time of publication only. This material reflects the views of the individual writers only. Those views may change, may not prove to be valid and may not reflect the views of everyone at First Sentier Investors.

Past performance is not indicative of future performance. All investment involves risks and the value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back your original investment. Actual outcomes or results may differ materially from those discussed. Readers must not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as there is no certainty that conditions current at the time of publication will continue. 

References to specific securities (if any) are included for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the same. Any securities referenced may or may not form part of the holdings of First Sentier Investors’ portfolios at a certain point in time, and the holdings may change over time.

References to comparative benchmarks or indices (if any) are for illustrative and comparison purposes only, may not be available for direct investment, are unmanaged, assume reinvestment of income, and have limitations when used for comparison or other purposes because they may have volatility, credit, or other material characteristics (such as number and types of securities) that are different from the funds managed by First Sentier Investors.

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or types or categories of individual where to allow such access would be unlawful or where it would require any registration, filing, application for any licence or approval or other steps to be taken by First Sentier Investors in order to  comply with local laws or regulatory requirements in such country.

About First Sentier Investors

References to ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ are references to First Sentier Investors, a global asset management business which 

is ultimately owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). Certain of our investment teams operate under the trading names FSSA Investment Managers, Stewart Investors and Realindex Investments, all of which are part of the First Sentier Investors Group.

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  • United Kingdom by First Sentier Investors (UK) Funds Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (reg. no. 2294743; reg office Finsbury Circus House, 15 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7EB).
  • European Economic Area by First Sentier Investors (Ireland) Limited, authorised and regulated in Ireland by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI reg no. C182306; reg office 70 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland; reg company no. 629188).
  • Other jurisdictions, where this document may lawfully be issued, by First Sentier Investors International IM Limited, authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (reg. no. 122512; reg office 23 St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 1BB; regcompany no. SC079063).

To the extent permitted by law, MUFG and its subsidiaries are not liable for any loss or damage as a result of reliance on any statement or information contained in this document. Neither MUFG nor any of its subsidiaries guarantee the performance of any investment products referred to in this document or the repayment of capital. Any investments referred to are not deposits or other liabilities of MUFG or its subsidiaries, and are subject to investment risk, including loss of income and capital invested.

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Strategy update: Q4 2023

European (ex UK) Sustainability strategy update: 1 October - 31 December 2023

Strong performance in Q4 propelled overall performance for the year convincingly into positive territory. Nonetheless 2023 will be remembered for market turbulence and fluctuations in the performance of the strategy.

The period from August through to October was especially difficult. Many macroeconomic worries that had weighed on equity markets at different times earlier in the year came to a head: monetary and fiscal policy tightness across European economies, the threat of recession and stagnation, falling real wages, declining household savings and spending, vulnerable housing markets, and slowing demand from China.

However, sentiment improved markedly in the final quarter as a consensus emerged that interest rates have peaked. Yields plummeted and valuations rose as markets celebrated a more benign inflation outlook and the possibility that the monetary policy tightening cycle is over, the industrial cycle turning, and demand recovering.

All but six of the 40 portfolio holdings rose over the quarter. Valuation concerns and a need to manage position sizes led us to trim positions in Atlas Copco (Sweden: Industrials), Infineon Technologies (Germany: Information Technology), DHL Group (Germany: Industrials), and Beiersdorf (Germany: Consumer Staples). We also sold the small remaining position in Rational (Germany: Industrials). The company has a limited range of products which we are concerned could face growing competitive and pricing pressures.

We made no new purchases, but took advantage of attractive valuation opportunities to increase shareholdings in EPAM Systems (United States: Information Technology), Jerónimo Martins (Portugal: Consumer Staples), Alfen (Netherlands: Industrials), Elisa (Finland: Communication Services), and Judges Scientific (United Kingdom: Industrials).

Over the course of the year our main concerns were to: 1) maintain and improve portfolio diversification and defensiveness; 2) maintain valuation discipline; and 3) take advantage of compelling valuation opportunities. In total we sold out of three holdings and introduced four new names into the portfolio.

We replaced a few industrial companies because they became too expensive and/or their competitive positioning less convincing to us: Beijer Ref (Sweden: Industrials), Nibe Industrier (Sweden: Industrials), and Rational (mentioned previously). Two new industrial companies we brought into the portfolio: Teqnion (Sweden: Industrials) and Addtech (Sweden: Industrials). Both have contributed positively to performance. The other two new positions were in EPAM Systems (mentioned previously) and Endava (United States: Information Technology). Both looked beaten up when we bought them, and both have strengthened since.

The most disappointing aspect of performance in 2023 was the damage done by the health care holdings, many of which were among the larger portfolio positions, precisely because we expect them to be resilient and steady compounders over the long term.

Four of the five largest detractors from performance were DiaSorin (Italy: Health Care), Roche (Switzerland: Health Care), Carl Zeiss Meditec (Germany: Health Care), and Tecan (Switzerland: Health Care). The other big detractor was Alfen (Netherlands: Industrials). We could have been less eager and slower adding to all five holdings as they fell.

The top five performance contributions in 2023 came from holdings in Inficon (Switzerland: Information Technology), Atlas CopcoTeqnionDHL Group, and Endava (all mentioned previously); we reduced shareholdings in all except Teqnion and Endava.

We have no ability to forecast markets, though it wouldn’t surprise us if 2024 presents a complex market environment with contradictory forces and signals. Optimism about equities may be running higher than it has for a couple of years, but markets have been swift to price in lower interest rates and some company valuations are already starting to look stretched. Easier financial conditions may be on the horizon, but money and credit remain tight in many economies. We may not yet have seen the full impacts of the tightening cycle we have been through. If economic activity fails to pick up, or contracts, company earnings could come under renewed pressure, and balance sheet strength and liquidity could be tested.

We enter 2024 with a portfolio of what we believe to be adaptable, high-quality, great sustainability companies, with consistent cash flow capabilities, and strong competitive positions in different market segments. The leaders of these companies understand the value of staying close to their customers. They steward their balance sheets carefully. They ensure their companies are as well placed to deal with emergent risks as they are to capitalise on long-term opportunities.

We will stay focused on the long-term, fundamental prospects of the companies we hold and those we are watching closely. Although we like the composition and shape of the portfolio, we will keep searching for companies that might improve overall portfolio risk-return characteristics. We will be vigilant about trimming holdings that become expensive and adding to those that present compelling valuations opportunities.

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Named new investments disclosed relate to holdings with a portfolio weight over 0.5%. It is not a recommendation or solicitation to purchase or invest in any fund. Differences between the representative account-specific constraints, currency or fees and those of a similarly managed fund or mandate would affect results.

Strategy update: Q3 2023

European (ex UK) Sustainability strategy update: 1 July - 30 September 2023

In what was a turbulent quarter for many financial markets, European equities felt the chilling effects of fears about recession and economic stagnation in the eurozone, rising yields, persistent monetary and fiscal policy tightness, resurgent energy prices, falling real wages, a depletion of household savings built up during the pandemic, lacklustre retail spending, fragile housing markets, and slowing demand from China.

The strategy registered a painful decline, more than erasing the gains of the first half of the year. The share prices of all but a quarter of portfolio holdings fell, and a handful experienced double-digit declines. The largest negative contribution came from Adyen (Netherlands: Financials), a facilitator of e-commerce, mobile, and point-of-sale payments. The share price fell sharply after the company reported weaker US revenue growth and margin pressure arising from increased hiring.

Alfen (Netherlands: Industrials) a provider of smart grids, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and energy storage solutions, also fell as sales in their EV charging station segment weakened due to customer destocking. And Infineon Technologies (Germany: Information Technology), a provider of semiconductors for the auto, industrial and power management sectors, weakened due to market uncertainty and concerns about Chinese capabilities and intentions to localise the production of certain semiconductor devices.

Positive contributions came from EPAM Systems (US: Information Technology), the Eastern European IT consulting and digital transformation services company which was added to the portfolio in Q2; Bechtle (Germany: Information Technology), a pan-European provider of IT infrastructure, equipment and services; and Endava (US: Information Technology), which was only recently added to the portfolio and is discussed below.

Two new companies were brought into the portfolio. Addtech (Sweden: Industrials) is a family-stewarded acquirer and long-term owner of more than 150 electrification, clean energy, automation, and process technology businesses. These tend to be relatively small private businesses with leading market positions, led by exceptional management teams. The business model is highly decentralised and the acquisition philosophy fosters entrepreneurship, collaboration and accountability. We took advantage of a compelling opportunity after the company de-rated.

Endava (US: Information Technology) was also added to the portfolio as its valuation became attractive. It is a founder-controlled provider of digital transformation consultancy services, mainly to customers active in payments, financial services and the technology, media and telecommunications sector. An entrepreneurial, flexible, team-focused culture has enabled successful expansion and scaling of the business. Around three-quarters of the workforce are in the greater-European region, but Endava’s revenue base and delivery footprint are expanding in the Americas and Asia.

In an effort to further improve portfolio diversification and resilience, we increased the position in Beiersdorf (Germany: Consumer Staples). We also added to several holdings as they became more attractively valued, including Adyen and Infineon Technologies (both mentioned previously); Indutrade (Sweden: Industrials), an industrial holding company with over 200 subsidiaries; and Carl Zeiss Meditec (Germany: Health Care), a maker of ophthalmic devices and microsurgery visualisation technologies.

Caution about valuations, position sizes and risk-return prospects led us to trim positions in Vitec Software (Sweden: Information Technology), a serial acquirer of leading niche software businesses; Sartorius (Germany: Health Care), a provider of laboratory and drug development technologies; ALK-Abelló (Denmark: Health Care), the global leader in allergen immunotherapy treatments; Komerční banka (Czech Republic: Financials); and Bechtle (among the positive contributors mentioned previously)

Economic risks and headwinds are intensifying and multiplying. We ask ourselves repeatedly if the portfolio is as resilient as it can be. We have conviction in the quality of the companies we hold, and we like the composition and shape of the portfolio. However, we never stop searching for companies that might improve overall portfolio risk-return characteristics.

Patience and a long-term focus are especially important at a time like this. We challenge ourselves to look through short-term noise and take advantage of attractive valuation opportunities. And we remain just as vigilant about trimming positions in companies whose valuations become stretched.

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Named new investments disclosed relate to holdings with a portfolio weight over 0.5%. It is not a recommendation or solicitation to purchase or invest in any fund. Differences between the representative account-specific constraints, currency or fees and those of a similarly managed fund or mandate would affect results.

Strategy update: Q2 2023

European (ex UK) Sustainability strategy update: 1 April - 30 June 2023

In order to gauge a company’s performance prospects, we must try to grasp the context in which it operates. Seen through the abstract lens of news, the world usually seems profoundly chaotic, hostile, erratic and unfathomable. The world may be all these things, but all these things are not the singular context in which companies operate. We need a different, better frame of reference.

The more uncertain the political economy context and market conditions get, the harder and closer we look at what we can best make sense of: companies, and how well they deal with the particular contextual challenges they face and foresee. Companies are of course impacted by developments in the political economy and financial markets, but company leaders deal with the manifestations of these things in amongst the practical realities of employees, customers, supply chains, production facilities, distribution channels, and regulatory environments.

Performance over the quarter was mixed. Encouraging results and positive trading outlooks boosted the share prices of Jerónimo Martins (Portugal: Consumer Staples), the leading supermarket operator in Poland; Atlas Copco (Sweden: Industrials), a maker of compressors, vacuums, and industrial assembly technologies; and Teqnion (Sweden: Industrials), a serial acquirer of a wide range of specialised industrial and technology businesses, which was bought at the start of the year.

Companies that dragged most on performance included Carl Zeiss Meditec (Germany: Health Care) – a maker of ophthalmic devices and microsurgery visualisation technologies – which fell after the company confirmed slower growth in China due to covid infection waves and lockdowns earlier in the year; Sartorius (Germany: Health Care) – a provider of laboratory and drug development technologies – which issued a profit warning due to falling sales as biopharma customers run off inventories built up during the pandemic; and ALK-Abelló (Denmark: Health Care) – the global leader in allergen immunotherapy treatments – which fell when first quarter data showed softer European tablet sales growth.

One new company was brought into the portfolio. EPAM Systems (US: Information Technology) is a founder-controlled, Eastern European IT services company that is helping accelerate digital transformation and productivity gains for its clients. EPAM is known in its field as the developers’ developer. The exceptional platform engineering and software development skills of its workforce, most of whom are based in Eastern Europe, and a full consult-design-engineer-operate model, have enabled it to establish long-term relationships with leading companies in over 35 countries worldwide.

We continued building the position in Teqnion (Sweden: Industrials), among the main performance contributors mentioned above. We also added to several holdings as they became more attractively valued, including Alfen (Netherlands: Industrials), a provider of electric vehicle charging stations as well as smart grid and energy storage solutions; Assa Abloy (Sweden: Industrials), a global leader in locks, doors and intelligent security systems; and Roche (Switzerland: Health Care), a developer of biologic drugs for cancer and rare diseases as well as in-vitro diagnostics. Valuation concerns were the main reason for trimming positions in Vitec Software (Sweden: Information Technology), a serial acquirer of leading niche software businesses; Elisa (Finland: Communication Services), the market leader in telecommunications and digital services in Finland; and Inficon (Switzerland: Information Technology), a maker of niche gas detection equipment and sensors.

We seek out exceptional leaders of companies with adaptable franchises and solid balance sheets – companies that can thrive in good times as well as bad. We strive to hold companies which, in combination, can help make the portfolio resilient across a range of fast-fluctuating market environments. The goal of consistently good performance in all circumstances can never be attained, but we aim for consistency in as many different market environments as possible, which we believe is the best way to deliver good overall performance over the long term.

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Named new investments disclosed relate to holdings with a portfolio weight over 0.5%. It is not a recommendation or solicitation to purchase or invest in any fund. Differences between the representative account-specific constraints, currency or fees and those of a similarly managed fund or mandate would affect results.

Proxy voting

Proxy voting: Q1 2024

European (ex UK) Sustainability proxy voting : 1 January - 31 March 2024

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter there were 196 resolutions from 9 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against 4 resolutions.

We voted against an amendment to company articles at Belimo as we do not believe the registered office should be the sole place of jurisdiction for corporate disputes. We also voted against a transaction of other business which would grant unfettered discretion at Belimo and Sika. (three resolutions)

We voted against a shareholder proposal concerning a change of payment software at Handelsbanken as we believe the day-to-day operation of the business is best left up to the board and management. (one resolution)

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

Proxy voting: Q4 2023

European (ex UK) Sustainability proxy voting : 1 October - 31 December 2023

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter there were 28 resolutions from two companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we did not vote against any resolutions.

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

Proxy voting: Q3 2023

European (ex UK) Sustainability proxy voting : 1 July - 30 September 2023

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter there were 32 resolutions from two companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we did not vote against any resolutions.

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

Proxy voting: Q2 2023

European (ex UK) Sustainability proxy voting : 1 April - 30 June 2023

Proxy voting by country of origin

Proxy voting by proposal category

During the quarter there were 408 resolutions from 23 companies to vote on. On behalf of clients, we voted against ten resolutions.

We voted against Alcon’s remuneration report as well as the Board and Executive remuneration, as we believe it is excessive and the company has signalled that they want to keep ratcheting. (three resolutions)

We voted against Assa Abloy’s remuneration report and long-term incentive plan as we believe the CEO’s remuneration is excessive and do not think earnings per share is an appropriate metric for a serial acquirer and instead it should make reference to returns on capital. (two resolutions) 

We voted against the appointment of the auditor at Beiersdorf, bioMérieux, Elisa, LEM Holdings and SFS Group 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. (five resolutions)

Source for company information: Stewart Investors investment team and company data. This stock information does not constitute any offer or inducement to enter into any investment activity. Portfolio data shown is from representative strategy accounts of the strategy shown above. Proxy voting chart numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding. SHP means: Shareholder Proposal.

Portfolio Explorer

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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 30 June 2024. *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).

Investment terms

View our list of investment terms to help you understand the terminology within this document.