RLAM calls for sustainable recovery from COVID-19

2 June 2020

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Piers Hillier, Chief Investment Officer at Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) calls for a sustainable, long-term economic recovery from COVID-19

As investors with a long term view, we want companies and governments to put long-term sustainability at the heart of their economic recovery plans. We will support this in a number of ways, including by engaging with companies on social and financial inclusion and on taking positive steps to address climate change risks. We are also committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into our investment decisions and promoting greater transparency and public policy to support this.

In the midst of the current global pandemic, we recognise that governments and companies are taking difficult decisions and that, in the wake of this crisis, they may rethink their long-term strategies. We encourage governments and companies to weigh economic, social and environmental imperatives in their analysis. We argue that it remains crucial to avoid unnecessary environmental and social costs and to retain a focus on longer-term sustainable economic recovery.

RLAM, as stewards of its clients’ assets, remains focused on the long-term value creation of the companies that it  invests in on behalf of our clients. We will continue to analyse the social and environmental impact of companies’ decisions, while recognising that, for many companies at this time, the global pandemic is their most pressing challenge.

We will fulfil our fiduciary duties as stewards of our clients’ capital and encourage sustainable economic recovery by:

  • Continuing to advocate that sustainable business is good business and in the long-term interests of our clients.  We will look at public policy interventions and corporate activity through this lens. 
  • Integrating environmental and social factors into our investment decisions as we believe this can lead to better investment decisions and risk management in our portfolios. 
  • Using our voting and engagement capabilities to support and where necessary urge company boards to be proactive in managing and leading on environmental, social and governance (ESG) opportunities and risks, including those exacerbated by the pandemic, given the potential benefits of this to companies and to the long-term returns investors expect from a more sustainable world economy.
  • Encouraging ever greater disclosure and transparency from companies on their contribution to a sustainable economic recovery given the value of this to our clients and society as a whole.

 

About the author

Piers Hillier

Chief Investment Officer - Royal London Asset Management

Piers joined Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) in January 2015 as Chief Investment Officer, with responsibility for managing and developing RLAM’s investment capabilities. Piers has over 25 years of investment experience, including roles as Head of International Equities and a member of the Strategic Policy Group responsible for setting Asset Allocation for multi asset portfolios at Kames Capital.

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The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. The firm is on the Financial Services Register, registration number 117672. It provides life assurance and pensions. Registered in England and Wales number 99064. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0RL.