Although as an investment trust, the Company has no direct social or community responsibilities, the Board shares the Investment Manager's view that it is in the shareholders' interests to be aware of and consider environmental, social and governance factors, when selecting and retaining investments. In addition, the AIFM has a due diligence approach to ensure any retained company or entity providing services to the Company in its normal course of business has an acceptable approach to ESG factors and as such does not inadvertently support any negative factors.
The Investment Manager has extensive resources dedicated to independent research into investee company ESG factors and potential risks. ESG risk consideration is embedded into the investment process. The portfolio manager invests as a long term investor with an inherent belief in the importance of stewardship and governance.
The portfolio manager integrates the consideration of ESG factors into the research process with more traditional operational and financial considerations. By analysing how a business interacts with the environment, treats its employees and deals with customers and suppliers, valuable insights can be learnt as to its future prospects and to long term risks which might not be evident in financial metrics.
The Investment Manager conducts regular meetings with companies which:
– Enrich investment analysis and decision making
– Help assess company leadership and culture and build trust
– Facilitate active involvement from portfolio managers and sector analysts in company engagements
– Provide an inclusive transparent process and multiple pressure points from within
– Focus on material issues in a case-by-case approach
The UK Stewardship Code and Exercise of Voting Powers
The Board has delegated the exercise of voting powers on its behalf to discharge its responsibilities in respect of investments, including the exercise of voting powers on its behalf to the AIFM, and receives regular reports on voting activity.
The AllianzGI policy statement on Sustainability and Stewardship can be found in the link opposite. The Board has reviewed this policy statement and believes that the Company’s delegated voting powers are being properly executed. AllianzGI subscribes to the ISS Proxy Voting Services. ISS manages the voting process and recommends actions based upon AllianzGI’s Global Proxy Voting Policy Guidelines.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Community and Employee Responsibilities, Emissions, Environmental and Ethical Policy (EEE)
The Company’s investment activities and day to day management are delegated to the Investment Manager, AIFM and other third parties. As an investment trust, the Company has no direct social, community, employee or environmental responsibilities. Its principal responsibility to shareholders is to ensure that the investment portfolio is properly managed and invested. As detailed above, the management of the portfolio has been delegated to the Investment Manager.
The Company notes the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting recommendations. However, as a listed investment company, the Company is not subject to the Listing Rule requirement to report against the framework.
In light of the nature of the Company’s business there are no relevant human rights issues and the Company does not have a human rights policy. The Company does not maintain premises, hold any physical assets or operations and does not have any employees. Consequently, the Company has no greenhouse gas emissions to report from its operations, nor does it have responsibility for any other emissions producing sources under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013. For the same reason as set out above, the Company considers itself to be a low energy user under the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting regulations and therefore is not required to disclose energy and carbon information. The Board has noted the AIFM's and Investment Manager’s report on greenhouse gas emissions on its own operations and the views of the Investment Manager on CSR and EEE which it adheres to in engaging with the underlying investee companies and in exercising its delegated responsibilities in voting. The Investment Manager engages with the Company’s underlying investee companies in relation to their corporate governance practices and in developing their policies on social, community and environmental matters. The AllianzGI policy statement on Sustainability and Stewardship can be found in the link opposite.
The Company’s primary objective is to invest principally in the equity securities of quoted technology companies on a worldwide basis with the aim of achieving long-term capital growth. The Board believes that the Company would be in breach of its fiduciary duties to shareholders if investment decisions were based solely on CSR and EEE considerations. The Investment Manager therefore takes account, in general terms, of these considerations as a part of its investment evaluations.