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Driving change through active ownership

Climate change and biodiversity loss were again at the top of the agenda in 2022. Credit Suisse Asset Management’s Active Ownership team helps investee companies tackle these and other challenges to enable future-proof business models and a more sustainable future for society.

Sustainability is of strategic importance to Credit Suisse Asset Management. Through proxy voting and individual and collaborative engagements, we want to drive change toward a more sustainable future. Our latest Active Ownership Report details our efforts related to our engagement and proxy voting activities conducted in 2022 and highlights the areas in which we want to make an impact for clients this year.

Why should I read the Active Ownership Report 2022?

  • Learn about our proxy voting framework and voting results
  • Get insights into our engagement approach, scope, and activities
  • Read about the significance of thematic engagements
  • Learn about the importance of responsible consumption and risks related to biodiversity loss
  • Check out interesting success stories

Broadening the scope of our proxy voting activities

After expanding from Europe to North America and the developed Asia-Pacific region (Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong) in 2021, we added the first two emerging markets – China and Taiwan – to our proxy voting services in 2022. Our global voting was thus further broadened through the addition of two important markets. We substantially increased our coverage in the small and mid-cap space across the markets, covering nearly 80% more issuers than in 2021.

We continued to follow our best practices approach. Our general focus is on regulations that are already applied or are in the process of being established in the respective markets. We aim to protect the interests of minority shareholders, to avert conflicts of interests between various stakeholders in investee companies, and to strengthen the independence of the highest internal supervisory body.

What is a proxy vote?

Our proxy voting framework is focused in particular on the following aspects: 

Proxy voting by country and sector

For illustrative purposes only.

Engaging proactively with investee companies

Since initiating active ownership activities in 2019 and establishing the team in 2021, our objective has been to proactively engage with investee companies. We do this in order to address sustainable investment-related systemic risks and to play an important role in helping drive change and ensuring that international standards are being applied, in line with our fiduciary duty. We analyze the dependencies of companies with regard to ESG-related risk factors and their impact on nature and society. Our engagement efforts are key to addressing broader negative externalities that could lead to inefficiencies in our portfolios. Our approach seeks to benefit all stakeholders in the long term and helps fulfill our fiduciary duty toward our clients.

In 2022, the Active Ownership team initiated 94 engagement interactions with investee companies, with 41 related to investor dialogues and 53 to structured engagements. 

What was the focus of our engagement?

Our engagements can be categorized by the type of interaction (individual, collaborative) and key focus of those interactions (thematic engagement, business conduct engagement, and proxy voting engagement).

Types of engagements

For illustrative purposes only.

In terms of thematic engagement, in 2022 we conducted individual and collaborative engagements related to the following themes:

Responsible consumption and production

Biodiversity loss and extinction

Climate change

Corporate governance

What’s in store for the Active Ownership team in 2023?

In the future, we are planning to broaden our activities in proxy voting, engagement, and ESG integration. The following key developments are planned for 2023.

Proxy voting

Engagement

ESG integration

Check out also

How we can advance sustainability: Active ownership – a powerful tool to bring about positive change.

Jeroen Bos
Global Head of Sustainable Investing
at Credit Suisse Asset Management

Get in touch with Asset Management

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The abbreviation ESG stands for Environmental (E), Social (S) and Governance (G).

Source: Credit Suisse, unless otherwise specified.
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