In accordance with Fund’s investment objectives in the 2020/21 Business Plan.
Declarations of interest:
Mamon Zaman, Senior Pensions Finance Specialist
David Crum – Minerva
Sarah Wilson - Minerva
Key points raised during the discussion:
1. The Senior Pensions Finance Specialist introduced a report explaining that a co-signed letter had been written to the Brazilian embassy in relation to deforestation in Brazil, attached as annex 1 the report. Also, Minerva had provided a report on issues experienced last quarter around voting. The Investor groups had since met with Brazilian authorities to discuss further outcomes. A positive short-term outcome was that Brazil banned forest fires for the four months of dry season and set up military operations due to this investor pressure. Due to the success of this investor dialogue, a working group had been set up to continue this work going forward, of which the Fund has chosen to participate in going forward.
2. David Crum updated the Committee that Minerva has still been unable to go back to the office to check through the paperwork but they intended to do. Some analysis had been done on meetings missed:
· There had been 45 companies meetings where Surrey votes were not cast. Of those meetings there were:
· 782 individual resolutions that Surrey could have voted on
· 702 of those Surrey would have voted in favour
· 56 Surrey would have voted against
· There would have been very few abstentions
· There were no instances where Surrey’s vote, if given, would have swayed the outcome on those resolutions one way or another.
Actions/ further information to be provided:
1. That ESG Factors were fundamental to the Fund’s approach, consistent with the Mission Statement through was affirmed;
· Continuing to enhance its own Responsible Investment Approach, its Company Engagement policy, and SDG alignment with its external provider Minerva Analytics.
· Commending the outcomes achieved for quarter ending 30 June 2020 by Robeco in their Active Ownership approach and the LAPFF in its Engagement with multinational companies as at 30 June 2020.
2. That Minerva’s Voting Services Issue Update report in Annexe 2, was noted.
Reason for decision:
In accordance with The Fund’s Mission Statement, as well as its Investment Strategic Objectives, the Fund is required to fulfil its fiduciary duty to protect the value of the Pension Fund, to meet its pension obligations. Part of this involves consideration of its wider responsibilities in Responsible Investment as well as how it exercises its influence through engaging as active shareholders.