Helping activate change with active ownership

Helping activate change with active ownership

We believe we can create better outcomes for our clients by actively engaging when we invest. Investors can use their voice to press for positive changes through a combination of dialogue with companies and voting at shareholder meetings.
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How have we helped?
We believe we can create better outcomes for our clients by actively engaging when we invest. In 2022, we voted on over 1,072 proposals at 82 shareholder meetings across the world.

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Our voting group comprises representatives of diverse investment teams overseeing voting decisions.

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Support for environmental proposals: 92%. This is almost triple the industry average.^

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Support at social proposals: 89%. This is nearly quadruple the industry average.^

case studies
Engagement with companies
Walt Disney
Our parent company Quintet via EoS have engaged with the Walt Disney Company, which has recognised the need to amplify under­represented voices, and the importance of accurate representation in media and entertainment. The company has created two senior leadership councils focused on DEI* in the workforce and content. Quintet also welcomed the company’s intention to advance representation for people of colour and other diverse groups in front of and behind the camera. We see this in its film Encanto, which depicts a Colombian family. Quintet via EoS encouraged the company to set and disclose qualitative and quantitative DEI goals, and expect its content representation dashboard to provide a baseline to support this.

Source: EOS. *Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a framework which seeks to promote the fair treatment and full participation of all people.
Walt Disney
Tech giant Microsoft found its own culture under scrutiny when it announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard in January 2022. In Q1 2022 our parent company Quintet via EoS engaged with Microsoft on a 2021 shareholder proposal that had gained 78% support, asking the board to report on the effectiveness of its workplace sexual harassment policies. The company said that its communications on these issues had improved. It also committed to annual public reporting on the implementation of its sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, including the total number of reported concerns, the percentage substantiated and the types of corrective actions taken. Our parent company Quintet appreciated this transparency and encouraged it to integrate its policies and practices at Activision Blizzard if/when acquisition closes. EOS forwarded to Microsoft our expectations for board oversight of sexual harassment and discrimination issues that our parent company Quintet had sent to the Activision board. EOS were pleased to receive Microsoft’s first report on its workplace culture with an independent review via email in late 2022.
As part of our ongoing engagement on climate change with Volvo, EOS pressed for better disclosure of the risks and opportunities relating to the low carbon transition, given the materiality of this issue for the company, which manufactures commercial vehicles including trucks, buses and construction equipment. In a meeting with a corporate social responsibility representative (CSR) in Q1 2018, our parent company Quintet asked for reporting aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). EOS reiterated the request in a letter to the chair in Q1 2019, along with concerns about the company’s low score on the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI). In its response, the company clarified some inaccuracies in its TPI assessment and confirmed that it had begun implementing some TCFD recommendations. EOS sought a progress update in a call with the CSR representative in Q2 2019 and at the company’s capital markets day in Q3 2020. EoS were pleased to hear a formal commitment to align its reporting with the TCFD recommendations. Our parent company Quintet welcomed the company’s first TCFD aligned section in its 2020/21 annual report, which includes risks and opportunities along with a corporate strategy explicitly aligned to decarbonisation targets. Climate change remains a material issue for the company, and our parent company Quintet will continue to engage on the progress of its electrification strategy, as well as its anticipated circular economy strategy.
Taking responsibility
Our parent company Quintet are proud members of the Climate Action 100+ initiative, a leading collaborative investor engagement on climate change. They are also signatories of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the world’s leading proponent of responsible and sustainable investing. By participating in these influential networks, we reinforce our commitment to driving meaningful change.
Active ownership reports

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How we vote
Where possible and feasible, we seek to vote at all shareholder meetings of the companies in which we invest for our clients. Currently, we vote for direct line equities in portfolios of our in-house funds managed by Brown Shipley.
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How we engage
We invest in a wide range of companies to align with the diverse needs of our clients. As many of these companies are large, our direct investments may be small relative to the size of the firm. To be effective in engaging with these companies, we believe that collaborative engagement is likely to achieve better results than efforts we might undertake on our own. Our parent company Quintet have therefore hired a specialised external service provider, EOS Hermes, to conduct engagement on our behalf. In cases where collaborative engagement is not practical, we may undertake direct engagement ourselves with the companies we invest in.
Learn more about our active ownership policy

^Period 2022. Glass Lewis reported in 2022 that average shareholder support for environmental and social proposals was respectively 35% and 25%.