As an investment manager with a long-term investment horizon, Maple-Brown Abbott believes that responsible investing enhances our investment decision-making and ultimately leads to superior long-term returns for our clients.
At Maple-Brown Abbott, our investment strategies of Australian equities, Asian equities and global listed infrastructure all integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.
We integrate ESG considerations across all our investment strategies to reach more informed decisions. This approach helps ensure that non-financial risks and opportunities are factored into the risk-return assessment of investments.
Each investment team is responsible for ESG integration and engagement, drawing on our strong in-house analyst capabilities to incorporate ESG considerations into the investment decision-making process.
As part of our approach, we actively engage with company boards and management to drive more sustainable long-term outcomes for investors.
In addition to factoring ESG insights into our investment processes, our specialist capability allows us to work with clients to create bespoke solutions that meet their specific ESG needs.
Our Board and the investment committees for each strategy oversee and routinely review the governance of our responsible investment approach and framework.
Responsible investment framework
1. ESG integration
We integrate ESG factors and risks into our investment approach at each step of the process.
As part of this, we have developed proprietary frameworks to assess material ESG issues such as climate risk. These issues are then incorporated into factors such as company valuations, volatility scores, or strength of governance. This process helps inform our investment decision making and portfolio construction.
Buying shares in a company is just the beginning. A key component of our responsible investment framework is our comprehensive stewardship approach to company engagement and proxy voting.
As active, long-term investors, we take our ownership responsibilities seriously and regularly meet with the companies we invest in. Engagement initiatives are the shared responsibility of portfolio managers and investment analysts, with insights incorporated into our investment research and portfolio decision-making. We may also hold ESG-specific engagement meetings with companies to undertake deep-dive research on certain topics.
- Proxy voting
It is our policy to vote on all proxy resolutions at all investor meetings for investments that we directly hold on behalf of our clients unless, in exceptional circumstances, we believe it is in best interests of the client to abstain from voting. Our voting decisions are informed by a range of factors, with the key guiding principle being the best interests of our clients as investors.
Click here to read more on our stewardship activities in our most recent Stewardship report
3. Investment solutions
All Maple-Brown Abbott investment strategies integrate ESG into their investment process.
Our Australian equities investment team offer the Maple-Brown Abbott Responsible Investment Fund, an actively managed Australian share fund that delivers responsible investment through the adoption of an integration, engagement and negative screening strategy.
The Maple-Brown Abbott Responsible Investment Fund has been certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) according to the strict operational and disclosure practices required under the Responsible Investment Certification Program.
In addition, there are instances when clients may seek particular solutions that tilt toward specific environmental or social outcomes or exclude selected activities and we will work with them to create bespoke solutions to meet their requirements.
Please contact us to discuss a solution for you.
Our approach to disciplined investment governance and ethical conduct is guided and supported by Board-approved policies including:
In addition to our suite of ESG policies, we maintain high internal standards across our own social and environmental performance, as well as governance standards. These include, for example, a code of ethics, inclusion and diversity and climate policies, and whistleblowing.
Reasons to invest in ESG with Maple-Brown Abbott
Long standing commitment, recognised ESG performance.
Maple-Brown Abbott recognised early the significance of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), established in 2006, by becoming a signatory in 2008.
In 2020 PRI again awarded us A+, the highest possible rating, for our ESG Strategy and Governance in the 2020 PRI Assessment Report. We were also awarded an A rating for each of our ESG Incorporation and Active Ownership practices. For full details please refer to our most recent PRI Assessment Report and Transparency Report.
MBA has supported the ESG Research Australia (ESGRA) initiative since its inception in 2010. The ESGRA is an industry initiative established to improve the quality and quantity of broker ESG research in the Australian market and strongly aligns with MBA’s values and investment philosophy.
MBA was identified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) as applying a ‘Leading’ approach to ESG integration in the Australian market. RIAA’s 2020 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report scored investment managers against its Responsible Investment Scorecard, which rewards managers not just for being strong stewards and accounting for ESG factors in investment decisions, but also for transparency, avoiding harm and allocating capital towards solutions. In total, 165 Australian and international investment managers were assessed, with the ‘Leading’ group comprising 29 Australian and 15 international investment managers with significant presence in Australia. The result places MBA in the top 30% of managers assessed.
Proprietary approach, specialist capability.
Maple-Brown Abbott uses specialist, in-house expertise for ESG research, with dedicated ESG analysts as members of the investment teams. We have developed proprietary ESG frameworks that are applied in strategy-relevant ways to supplement fundamental investment analysis.
Access the specific ESG capabilities of our investment strategies
Our research help us identify Australian companies that are currently trading at an attractive discount to their true underlying value.
Our Asia Pacific capability covers three equity strategies – Asia ex-Japan, Asia Pacific ex-Japan and Pacific Developed ex-Japan.
Global listed infrastructure
It’s our commitment to infrastructure investment and our proven investment approach that allows our clients to access the real benefits of infrastructure investment.