At Mint, we recognise that all companies face varying levels of ESG risks. We also recognise it is not possible to exclude all ESG risk from our portfolio, so we must engage with companies to understand how they are managing and mitigating the risks facing them. This practice of engaging with companies is formally defined as stewardship. The Principles for Responsible Investment defines stewardship as the use of influence by investors to maximise overall long-term value, on which returns, and client interests, depend. Stewardship requires a shift to longer-term thinking on capital management decisions, to ensure a just transition to a more sustainable planet and societies.
As the focus in New Zealand shifts away from exclusions and towards thoughtful engagement with corporates and policy makers on ESG issues, there is a need for a regime to guide best practice stewardship and reporting. The Aotearoa New Zealand Stewardship Code aims to provide that framework. Mint recognises the importance of such a framework, as well as the shift to active stewardship, and is proud to be a signatory to the inaugural Code.
Mint became a signatory to the Code in early 2023. We became signatories because we strongly believe in the work the Code encourages. The Code provides a principles-based framework for achieving the three goals of effective stewardship: to create and preserve long-term value for current and future generations; to ensure the efficient management of capital whilst considering the best interests of clients and beneficiaries; and to contribute towards achieving sustainable outcomes for our environment, society, and economy.
As signatories, we are able to share any learnings we have from our stewardship activities with the wider group, and vice versa. Signatories are also encouraged to work collaboratively, and we look forward to taking opportunities to work with the other signatories in future. The Code holds signatory events and calls, as well as public panels, to increase awareness of stewardship, providing many opportunities for learning in its first year. The Code now has 18 signatories representing more than $100 million of assets under management in New Zealand.
Mint will produce its first Stewardship report by December 2024. We are privileged to be a part of the Code’s first year – Happy Birthday!
 PRI definition: https://www.unpri.org/stewardship/about-stewardship/6268.article
Disclaimer: Rachel Tinkler is the Head of Responsible Investment at Mint Asset Management. The above article is intended to provide information and does not purport to give investment advice.
Mint Asset Management is the issuer of the Mint Asset Management Funds. Download a copy of the product disclosure statement.
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