Responsible Investing, Engagement and Voting activities
What is Responsible Investing?
At Barclays Private Bank, we view responsible investing as an integral part of our investment strategy and practice. This involves engagement and voting, as well as incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)1 factors into investment decisions and analysis.
This allows us to assess risky non-financial issues such as poor labour practices and climate change, alongside financial factors. The aim of responsible investing is to manage and mitigate risky ESG practices which can materially impact long-term company and portfolio returns, thus allowing a more holistic understanding of an investment.
Our Statement on Responsible Investing
Barclays Private Bank seeks to deliver competitive risk-adjusted returns for our clients and we believe that responsible investing supports this aim. Good stewardship requires a deep understanding of the assets we invest in. Throughout the life of an investment, we aim to identify, manage and mitigate ESG risks1. In our fiduciary role, we believe that ESG issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios (to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and time horizons).
As a long term investor, we aim to generate superior returns for our clients and create long term value for stakeholders. This means we look deep into our investment process, and recognise our responsibility to society and key stakeholders. We believe that ESG considerations help alleviate the pressure for short-termism and encourage a focus on long term value creation – to the mutual benefit of companies, investors and the world at large. These beliefs align with Barclays values of Respect, Integrity, and Stewardship.
Our partnership with EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS)
We recognise that our role as a responsible investor is to positively influence companies’ long term management of material ESG risks to protect shareholder value. Engagement and voting is one of our most effective mechanisms to reduce risks, maximize returns and have a positive impact on society.
Our partnership with a leading stewardship provider EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS) in the UK, Jersey, Ireland, Monaco and Switzerland supports the bank in engagement across our private banking assets, in equity and fixed income as well as with voting activities. EOS is a leading stewardship service provider that helps long-term institutional investors around the world to meet their fiduciary responsibilities and become active owners of public companies.
We firmly believe in the concept of engagement and voting and through our partnership with EOS we can have more influence to engage with investee companies on long term risks and opportunities.
Engagement and Voting
Engagement and voting are activities which allow us to encourage portfolio companies to identify, manage and mitigate their ESG risks, and to improve ESG disclosures. Through our partnership with EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS), Barclays Private Bank2 takes a comprehensive approach to stewardship, engaging and voting with corporates globally and key stakeholders, such as policymakers and regulators.
We believe that by EOS pooling resources of other like-minded investors, it creates a strong and representative shareholder voice, and makes company engagement more effective. EOS’ activities are based on the premise that companies with informed and involved shareholders are more likely to achieve long-term value, than those without.
Engagement is a long-term process that seeks to promote ESG change and/or increase disclosure with regards to ESG matters in material areas ranging from executive pay, to environmental issues. This is undertaken by EOS having a series of discussions (engagement) with boards of directors or senior management, escalated and intensified with companies over time, depending on the nature of the challenges they face.
Engagement and Voting is valuable to our clients
ESG risks can materially impact the performance of investment portfolios. There are several examples of ESG risks facing companies, both current and historical, that reinforce this view, such as oil spills and worker safety.
By identifying and effectively managing material ESG risks and opportunities through engagement, the Private Bank is well placed to deliver better risk adjusted returns over the long term for its clients. We believe that companies which manage their ESG risks and issues well, are likely to be less prone to severe incidents, such as fraud, litigation or reputational risks.
Engagement and Voting Reporting
In our view, transparency is an integral part of good governance. Therefore we disclose our engagement and voting activities publicly.
The following reports provide summaries of engagement and voting activities for each of the core strategies we run in our Discretionary business for the regions mentioned below. Not all reported activity will apply to individual accounts which deviate from our core strategy holdings, for instance where investment restrictions have been requested.
Barclays Private Bank quarterly Engagement and Voting activity summaries3
The following link will direct you to an external third party website belonging to our engagement and voting partner EOS, where Quarterly Public engagement reports can be viewed. Once you have entered the EOS website please type "Public Engagement Report" in the search function to find the reports.
The EOS Quarterly Public Engagement Report highlights some of the stewardship activities undertaken by EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS) on behalf of its clients. The report is generic to EOS and represents activity undertaken by EOS for all of their clients. Therefore, the report can include stewardship activity undertaken for companies which are not representative of Barclays Private Bank holdings.
Any views expressed in the Information above may differ from Barclays views. The Information has been prepared with the most up-to-date records available to us from the sources that we reasonably believe to be reliable. We accept no liability for any loss arising from inaccuracies in the data provided to us except to the extent it arises as a result of our negligence in relying on it. In preparing the Information, we have used information provided to us by external providers. The Information is (1) proprietary to these external providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither we nor any of the external providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of the Information. Where performance figures are quoted, investors are reminded that past performance is not a reliable indicator of comparable future returns. The value of investors' capital and income derived from it is subject to fluctuation and there is no guarantee that the future value of investments will exceed the original capital invested. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Every effort has been made to ensure that this Information is correct as per information available at the time of production. Barclays cannot accept liability for errors or omissions in third party data used to produce this Information.