First State Investments advances responsible investment and stewardship reporting with release of 2015 Report

First State Investments (First State) has published its 2015 Responsible Investment (RI) Report, with the objective of improving industry standards relating to responsible investment and stewardship disclosure.

The report, which is the eighth Annual RI and Stewardship Report from First State, is the first to combine comprehensive information on the investment philosophy, people, stewardship approach and long-term financial performance of the fund manager. The report was launched at an event in London to discuss the topic of ‘long-termism’, where Professor John Kay gave a keynote speech highlighting the important role of stewardship in asset management.

First State’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Lazberger said; “The financial services industry is in a constant state of change, particularly in the area of governance, and our clients are now, more than ever, demanding increased transparency and accountability in our reporting.

“We believe improving the quality of our communication with clients and other stakeholders on how investors manage complex environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues is critical for building trust in the financial services industry.

“We hope that this level of insight and integration in reporting meets and exceeds the increasing expectations of our clients.”

First State has also developed a new interactive online report with additional in-depth content.

First State’s Global Head of Responsible Investment, Will Oulton, said; “Transparency and disclosure are important components of effective stewardship.

“This year, we are focusing on disclosing more detail on how RI and stewardship adds value to our investment processes by the inclusion of additional metrics for each investment team as well as significantly improving the depth and interactivity of the report online.

“This report should clearly demonstrate the long-term benefits of integrating ESG factors into investment decision-making and ownership-practices.

“We have drawn clear links between each team’s responsible investment and stewardship practices and their investment philosophy, and used specific case studies and performance information to demonstrate how ESG integration adds value.

“While there are many reasons to invest responsibly, we would not do it if we did not believe that it was in the long-term interests of our clients.”