In December 2013, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. became a signatory of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). The UNPRI was established in 2006 by a global, collaborative network of investors to recognize the increasing relevance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues within the investment analysis and decision making process.
ESG factors are integrated into our overall investment process. Our approach is bottom up, not top down, and security selection is based on fundamental research with a strong "value" bias. This includes both a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the business and its risks. We recognize that poor ESG practices can have an impact on the company's balance sheet and income statement, and can affect the sustainable performance of our investments over the long term. When we are looking to make an investment we are ultimately asking, "Does the company operate its business in a manner we are comfortable with?" We will not invest in a company if we are not comfortable with their business practices.
We have always felt that addressing ESG issues is inherent in our investment process, and we felt that becoming a signatory was more of a way for us to formalize it.
As a signatory of the UNPRI, we commit to the following six Principles:
Click below for more information:
2014/2015 RI Transparency Report
Year to Date 2016 Canadian Proxy Voting Records
Proxy Voting Guidelines
Leith Wheeler is among the first 100 signatories to the UNPRI's Statement on ESG in Credit Ratings, an initiative asking credit rating agencies to formally enhance the systematic and transparent consideration of ESG factors in their ratings. Six global credit rating agencies, including Moody's and S&P, have joined the initiative.
Click here to read the official statement.
Leith Wheeler is a member of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. We find that strong management teams and effective governance structures will lead to good business practices, which helps to reduce some of the risks inherent in capital market investing.
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