JRF supports the view that effective management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues by companies we invest in is a necessary part of achieving good financial performance and long-term growth.
It is JRF’s view that companies that fail to effectively manage good governance and social and environmental risks can incur higher operating costs and loss of consumer and investor confidence, and that this can impact negatively on shareholder value.
JRF therefore seeks to incorporate ESG issues fully in its investment activities and to be an active owner. It does this by:
- Including an assessment of the approach to responsible investment in the selection of Fund Managers and subsequent monitoring and review of their performance.
- Encouraging Fund Managers to integrate ESG issues into their investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- Requiring Fund Managers to comply with JRF’s ethical investment policy. JRF does not invest in stocks and shares in companies which are significantly associated with the manufacture of armaments, tobacco, brewing and gambling. ‘Significant’ is defined as 10% of either profits or turnover.
- JRF applies a pragmatic approach to this ethical exclusion and accepts that the exclusion does not extend to collective investment instruments operated by Fund Managers.
- Authorising Fund Managers to exercise the vote with JRF shares in accordance with agreed policies, but subject to an over-ride by JRF in circumstances where there would be a conflict with JRF’s charitable objectives. Actual votes cast and related engagement are monitored on a quarterly basis by ISC.
- Within available resources, engage with companies on ESG issues, and also those issues which are directly relevant to the strategic priorities and work of JRF. This engagement may be direct or via Fund Managers. It may also be undertaken collectively in partnership with other investors.
The Fund Managers are expected to contact JRF if they are considering an investment in a company which may engage in activities which are in contradiction of JRF’s strategic priorities or its charitable objectives.
JRF may initiate shareholder resolutions, but this will only be with the approval of the full trustee body. Decisions on active participation in shareholder resolutions instigated by others will be the responsibility of the Chief Executive.
JRF’s responsible investment policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Investment Sub-Committee.
Within available resources, JRF will report annually on responsible investment issues.