As active managers, we are able to advocate for, and hasten change in the select companies we invest in on behalf of our clients. We take an analytical approach that considers how companies are seeking to improve on ESG issues. Our approach aims to generate meaningful results for our clients – both in investment returns and risk mitigation – over the medium to long term.
We recognize that change drives investment performance, whether positively or negatively. Our role as active managers is both to be on the lookout for positive change and to nurture it through active ownership.
Stewardship also means active ownership through engagement with portfolio companies’ management, to ensure proper governance that contributes to a better world while enhancing investment results.
We believe ESG factors can materially affect the performance of companies in which we invest, and our investment teams seek to engage with investee companies on governance issues we view as relevant. Given that the characteristics of different asset classes place us in varying positions within the capital stack, each asset class team engages on governance on behalf of its own clients, and the mechanisms for such engagement vary. For example, proxy voting and shareholder meetings are notable opportunities to express equity views, whereas in the credit realm, we believe engagement is most effective at the time of issuance.
As part of our research processes within each asset class, our investment teams frequently spend time with senior-level management of the companies we’re analyzing, often discussing how ESG issues could affect their businesses and potential investment performance. We believe such discussions can help draw management teams’ attention to ESG issues and their importance to the investment community.
PineBridge has established proxy voting policies and procedures and engages a proxy agent to support us in executing proxy voting in accordance with our guidelines. Our objectives are to ensure that proxies are voted in the best interest of our clients, that our voting procedures are clearly outlined, and that clients may obtain information on how PineBridge has voted their proxies. We decide how to cast proxy votes on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration our policies and procedures, obligations under management agreements and fund offering documents, and other relevant considerations.
We perform an annual review of our proxy voting guidelines to ensure that we are continuing to serve the best interests of our clients. These assessments are ongoing and evolve in step with changes in the solutions available, the regulatory framework, and consumer and business behavior, and the companies’ business strategies and solutions will also evolve over time.
Source: ISS, PineBridge Investments, as of 31 December 2021.
From the pandemic to social inequities to climate emergencies, new challenges have brought greater urgency to the need for change.
Our inaugural Corporate Responsibility Report outlines our key initiatives in 2021, which focused on deepening our involvement beyond the allocation of capital. This effort involved raising the bar for the changes we want to see in the companies in which we invest, working with the global investment industry to meet universal climate and social goals, and improving our internal resiliency by investing further in our people.