Manulife Investment Management issues inaugural stewardship report and emphasizes role of active asset managers to drive impact
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TORONTO, April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Manulife Investment Management recently announced the release of its inaugural stewardship report. The report highlights the firm's commitment to stewardship codes across a variety of jurisdictions and developed in accordance with the 12 stewardship principles outlined by the UK stewardship code, one of the first and most comprehensive global codes. Manulife Investment Management believes that without strong stewardship the smooth functioning of financial markets could be compromised. The report details the impact Manulife Investment Management seeks to have as an active asset manager committed to sustainability-focused corporate engagement; and how the firm aligns its asset ownership practices with stewardship codes around the globe.
Across its assets and investments, Manulife Investment Management sees being an active steward as a critical part of what it means to be an active manager. The firm's active approach is central to its ability to protect and grow the value of the assets owned or managed on behalf of clients. The teams identify ways to fortify management, reporting, and sustainability practices and then work with stakeholders to strengthen these frameworks supporting the assets owned or operated by the firm.
"Without strong stewardship, an investment's integrity can be compromised; in turn, the asset manager/asset owner relationship can suffer, and the smooth functioning of financial markets can break down," said Paul R. Lorentz, president and CEO, Manulife Investment Management. "The impact and outcomes of actions matter now more than ever."
Over the last five years, Manulife Investment Management has significantly increased the number of conversations with issuers that include a focus on sustainability. Increasingly, there is a focus on measuring the success in influencing firms to mitigate the impact of material sustainability risks, such as diversity and environmental impact, and drive long-term value creation.
Manulife Investment Management also highlighted that, while global stewardship codes generally outline similar best practices, it's important to understand and recognize nuances when executing against specific codes. These differences put an emphasis on the role of active asset managers to understand and differentiate between the various global stewardship codes and the importance of taking a nuanced approach to corporate engagements. Ultimately, these considerations may lead to better outcomes for investors.