Engagement with consequences

An important aspect of our approach to responsible investing is the dialogue we maintain with the companies we invest in. Through active engagement, we use our voice to influence them towards better, more sustainable long-term performance.

In 2022 we engaged with companies 671 times, on a wide range of issues.

Studies have shown that engagement with companies on ESG issues can lead to better investment outcomes. When combined with active voting, and set within a clear escalation framework, it can be a powerful force for positive change.

The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back what you originally invested.

How we engage

Company engagement on ESG issues has been an important part of our stewardship activities for many years. We prioritise engagement where we can make the most impact in addressing systemic environmental and social challenges and add value to clients’ portfolios. For example, working with other investors, we’ve helped to improve companies’ response to climate change. Our engagement efforts are backed up by our willingness to reduce our holdings in companies that continue to present ESG risks over time.

Company engagement can take many forms, including:

  • meetings with senior management

  • public statements

  • collaboration with other investors

  • tabling or voting on resolutions at company AGMs

Engaging together

While we reserve the right to respond as we deem appropriate depending on the circumstances, our general approach to new and ongoing engagement is outlined below:

Please read the Rathbones Group responsible investment report and engagement policy for more information on our engagement. 

Engaging together:
Votes against slavery

In 2022 Rathbones once again led an investor collaboration to urge companies to meet their modern slavery reporting obligations. This campaign, Votes Against Slavery, won ‘Stewardship Initiative of the Year’ in the annual awards of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.