Balance — our approach to responsible investment
By Frank Jasper, Director, Fisher Funds
01 November, 2016
The best businesses in the world are balanced. They balance the present with the future, the interests of their customers with the needs of shareholders and the pursuit of growth while maintaining good governance and sustainability.
We have always sought portfolio companies that understand and demonstrate a commitment to balance in how they've grown their business. We have encapsulated these principles as a formal policy of Fisher Funds, and in so doing, have made a firm commitment to only invest in companies that we believe are truly sustainable over time.
Our "Responsible Investing Policy" has been formally adopted and acts as a road map for the type of investments you can expect us to make in the future. You can read a copy of the policy on our website.
The policy contains two elements.
The first of these outlines sectors that we will not invest in at all. We will not invest in any company involved in the manufacture of military armaments or tobacco. This rule is rigorously applied, so even $1 of earnings from either source disqualifies a company from consideration for Fisher Funds' portfolios.
The second element is the integration of analysis of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors into our investment process when we research a particular investment. This puts the onus on our investment team to consider ESG risks in an investment and to highlight where we believe that these risks exceed generally accepted standards of behaviour.
While this second element is somewhat subjective, we have established a benchmark for behaviours we believe are acceptable. These benchmarks are informed not only by our judgment but also by the views of our clients and will vary over time.
We are aware that everyone has different views on what sustainability means. Like a good company needs balance we are looking for balance in how we implement a sustainable investing approach. This policy is a start, we are sure it will continue to evolve over time and we'll keep you informed along the way.