Our Responsible Investing Philosophy
As a value manager, Beutel Goodman’s primary objective is to deliver superior risk-adjusted portfolio performance to our clients over the long term. We pursue this through the ownership of debt and equity positions in high-quality companies. Companies with strong environmental, social and governance practices often share many of the sound fundamentals that are attractive to our value-investing approach. ESG factors have the potential to materially affect the long-term sustainability of a business and are thus are an important part of our analytical process.
Our rigorous research methodology encompasses a fundamentally driven analysis to identify valuation opportunities in quality companies from a bottom-up perspective. We consider ESG criteria to be part of the material risks associated with the long-term sustainability of investments. Using a bottom-up, disciplined, value-investing approach, each equity and credit research report or update we prepare incorporates ESG considerations. ESG information is gathered from internal research, third-party ESG data providers and meetings with company management.
Responsible investment research responsibilities are shared among the entire investment team. All portfolio managers are charged with the responsibility of considering material risks to the investments they recommend, including ESG risks.
ESG policy oversight and review responsibilities lie with the firm's Management Committee.
Proxy Voting and Engagement
Part of our highly disciplined investment research process involves meeting with company management, which can provide important insights into issuers and ESG factors, and how these may impact long-term shareholder value. We believe that we can effect change on ESG issues by engaging with management as owners of a company's stock or bonds. Where relevant, we will strive to promote positive change if our analysis indicates a company falls short on stated policies or where material, unaddressed ESG issues exist or ESG disclosure is inadequate. We support efforts by companies to create strong governance policies and to develop a clear strategic vision to enhance value to shareholders.
We have long advocated for sound corporate governance, which we believe is the foundation of the responsible management of a company's environmental and social practices. As part of our portfolio management responsibilities, we review each proxy item for our holdings before casting votes. We assess all motions, including those relating to ESG practices, based on their consistency with long-term shareholder value creation.
Proxy voting is not as prevalent in fixed income, and typically only occurs when a company is seeking to change its trust indentures. The fixed income team actively engages with company management on ESG issues that we deem will affect the sustainability of the company’s cash flows - and ultimately, the company’s ability to repay its debt - or will otherwise adversely affect the value of the bond.
Collaboration and Industry Participation
Beutel Goodman is a member of collaborative initiatives and regularly participates in industry forums on ESG and responsible investing. Beutel Goodman became a signatory of the UN-sponsored PRI in 2019, formalizing our commitment to the PRI’s key tenets. We recognize the importance of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and support the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).
Find Out More
- Read Beutel Goodman's Responsible Investment Policy Statement, which governs all of the firm's investments.
- Review our Proxy Voting Guidelines
- View our annual records of proxies voted for all holdings in our mutual funds
- Read our Annual Responsible Investment Report for 2020
- Find out how we are addressing corporate responsibility initiatives, including environmental programs and diversity and inclusion in our own office.
- Contact us