As a responsible investor, Candriam pays particular attention to the corporate governance policies, structures and practices of the companies in which it invests on behalf of its customers. Candriam is convinced that sound corporate governance practices deliver long-term shareholder value.
Since 2003, Candriam has implemented an active voting policy and undertaken to exercise the voting rights associated with the equities managed on its clients’ behalf at annual general meetings.
“We firmly believe in active ownership, and engagement in particular, as core contributors to risk mitigation and value creation for our clients”, says Isabelle Cabie, Global Head of Responsible Development at Candriam. “We want to have an impact by specifically engaging with companies and we see a growing willingness from companies to listen to concerned investors. They are especially receptive to the many collaborative initiatives we have joined in recent years.”
In 2017, Candriam participated in 538 meetings, voting on 7,193 resolutions. Candriam participated in 178 meetings of European companies (33% of our scope) and 360 meetings of international companies. The main concerns revolved around director remuneration, share capital issues and director elections.
As pioneer in Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) since 1996, and as a signatory (2006) of the UN-PRI, Candriam engages with companies in order to raise their awareness about ESG issues.
Candriam considers that a company's long-term value is influenced not solely by financial criteria such as income or growth in the operating margin. We firmly believe that, by taking into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, we better value issuers as we capture further opportunities and risks and we make better-informed investment decisions.
In this context, the engagement activities Candriam undertakes are considered integral parts of our fiduciary duty, as they contribute to a better assessment of the ESG risks and opportunities faced by issuers, prompting them to improve the way they manage these.
In 2017, fair work conditions, energy transition and business ethics were the main topics of our dialogues and on top of our engagement policy.