Stewardship and voting

Since April 2015, we have been signatories to the United Nations-supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI). The PRI encourages investors to use responsible investment to enhance returns and better manage risks. 

As part of our commitment to the PRI, we submit a public report (PDF, opens in a new window) each year.

We support the principles set out by the Financial Reporting Council in The UK Stewardship Code. Our statement, ‘Corporate governance and shareholder engagement’, explains how we do that in practice. Artemis’ voting policy forms part of this: it outlines the firm's stance on the composition of boards and committees, the election of directors, executive pay, audit and shareholders’ rights.

Stewardship 

The concept of corporate governance, as it is now understood, emerged in the 1990s – and has been evolving ever since. Our view of what it means and how it is practised is based on the definitions given by the Financial Reporting Council (opens in a new window) in its UK Corporate Governance and UK Stewardship Codes.

“The purpose of corporate governance is to facilitate effective, entrepreneurial and prudent management that can deliver the long-term success of the company. Corporate governance is therefore about what the board of a company does and how it sets the values of the company. It is to be distinguished from the day to day operational management of the company by full-time executives.”

“Stewardship aims to promote the long term success of companies in such a way that the ultimate providers of capital also prosper. Effective stewardship benefits companies, investors and the economy as a whole. In publicly-listed companies responsibility for stewardship is shared. The primary responsibility rests with the board of the company which oversees the actions of its management. Investors in the company also play an important role in holding the board to account for the fulfilment of its responsibilities.”

Our voting policy

Artemis is an active investment manager. Developing relationships with the managements, boards and other representatives of companies in which we own shares is integral to our active approach. As stockpickers, we scrutinise performance, strategy, risk and financing, as well as corporate governance. (The exception is our quantitative investment strategies, such as those funds using our ‘SmartGARP’ screening tool, where detailed financial analysis comes to the fore).

As part of our stewardship, we use our voting rights to safeguard our clients’ investments. External research has an input, but our fund managers make the final decisions on how to vote. Central to that is the consideration of each company’s ability to create and sustain long-term shareholder value.

In general our policy is to support management provided we are satisfied with the company’s general conduct and governance. We vote for proposals that:

  • enhance value
  • protect shareholders’ rights
  • ensure high standards of stewardship, disclosure, transparency and accountability.

If you are an institutional investor interested in collective engagement, or a company with questions about our approach to corporate governance, please contact [email protected].

Further reading...

(All documents are PDFs and open in a new window)