Ausbil Fund recognised at Lonsec awards for ESG investing and engagement

From

Paul Xiradis

Lonsec has awarded the Ausbil Active Sustainable Equity Fund as the winner of its Sustainable Investment Award.

The Lonsec Sustainable Investment Award seeks to recognise and highlight the work of asset managers and key players incorporating ESG into their investment approach to add value to investors.

An ESG (environment, sustainable and governance) approach, is integrated in Ausbil’s investment decision making process, driven by a focused ESG engagement team, and overseen by one of Australia’s most respected Chief Investment Officers, Paul Xiradis.

“We are delighted to be recognised by Lonsec with this award,” said Xiradis. “We feel so strongly about the benefits of investing responsibly, that we have integrated ESG across all of our investment strategies, with ESG consideration built into our investment process”

The Ausbil Active Sustainable Equity Investment Fund is a true-to-label sustainable and responsible investment fund that actively engages companies, within its universe, to improve on all measures of ESG, and actively exercises its voting rights accordingly.

“What gives our Active Sustainable Equity Fund its edge is our reach into the boards and management of Australia’s listed companies. Our active engagement with these companies helps us achieve better outcomes,” said Mr Xiradis.

Mr Xiradis’ track record is one of the longest in the country, the core active equity strategy starting in 1997. Mr Xiradis was early in seeing that the only way forward in active investment was to integrate ESG firmly in the firm’s culture, approach and decision making. Excellence in corporate governance (G) has always been a critical consideration in Ausbil’s process, from the very beginning in 1997. Over 10 years ago, Ausbil added environment (E) and social (S) considerations to the investment process, bringing together the full ESG approach across all funds.

Ausbil’s ESG Research Team, of three dedicated ESG Analysts, is led by the experienced Måns Carlsson-Sweeny. “In our engagements we frequently encourage companies to adopt best practice in ESG risk management, which can in turn, help them become more sustainable businesses. That also helps increase the universe of companies in which we are willing to invest, and contributes to a better society.”

“Every year we engage on ESG issues with Australia’s largest companies, which fundamentally improves the overall awareness of ESG in corporate Australia, and deepens our investment decision making process,” said Mr Carlsson-Sweeny.

Ausbil’s ESG Research Team has been actively engaging across all the ESG areas. Ausbil recently became the first Australian signatory to the International Declaration on Plastic Pollution (IDPP), has been actively engaging with resources companies on safe work and tailings dam safety, working with retailers on human rights in their global supply chains, raising awareness of sexual harassment, in advising on better climate related financial disclosures (TCFD), on governance practices and remuneration, and on fair wages for workers, amongst many other areas of action.

Mr Carlsson-Sweeny was commended this month by Anti-Slavery Australia for his work in promoting the cause of workers in worldwide supply chains who are subject to modern slavery and other degrading conditions.

Ausbil’s ESG Research Team is actively engaged in collaborating with a wide range of ESG and responsible investing groups. Ausbil reports on all active collaboration in ESG and RI regularly, summarising our engagement in an extensive annual report, the most recent which can be found here:
https://www.ausbil.com.au/Ausbil/media/Documents/Research%20and%20Insights/Ausbil-%e2%80%93-ESG-Engagement-Annual-Report-2018.pdf

The Ausbil Active Sustainable Equity Fund provides exposure to an actively managed portfolio, predominantly made up of listed Australian equities which meet Ausbil’s sustainability approach to investing. The PDS can be obtained from our website at www.ausbil.com.au

 

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