SEI (NASDAQ:SEIC) today announced the launch of a global investment stewardship strategy that will embed sustainability into shareholder engagement and proxy voting practices across the company’s approximately $248.1 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2020.
This enhanced strategy builds on more than a decade of stewardship activity in SEI’s Irish fund complex, expanding on SEI’s existing European stewardship program.
“We recognize that our voice as shareholders is meaningful to the companies in which we invest. We take our role as investment stewards seriously and seek to use our voice—through engagement and proxy voting—to support long-term management of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities across our investments,” said Kevin Barr, Head of SEI’s Investment Management Unit. “We will integrate insights learned from engagement into proxy voting across our global asset base. With a significant increase in assets in the stewardship program, we look forward to increasing our voice in the market and supporting our longstanding commitment to voting in our clients’ best interests.”
By participating in collaborative investor initiatives, including a strategic partnership with Sustainalytics, SEI will focus engagement activity on global norms and standards, as well as sustainability themes shaping the future of the global economy. Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of ESG research and ratings, provides a suite of active ownership offerings, including investor engagement services as well as an ESG voting policy overlay service. Engagement will continue to focus on the consistent application of guidelines, including the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights. Additionally, sustainability-focused thematic engagement programs will proactively engage companies on a range of sustainability risks and opportunities related to climate change and progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
SEI has also joined Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative to engage companies whose businesses and operations have an opportunity to mitigate climate change and support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“Climate change presents systemic risks to the global economy, while many companies and sectors that proactively address this megatrend may benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Jana Holt, Global Director of Sustainable Investing Solutions in SEI’s Investment Management Unit. “By becoming a signatory to Climate Action 100+, we join more than 500 institutional investors globally in an effort to work with companies to improve governance of climate risks and opportunities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen climate-related financial disclosures.”