Strategic focus on responsible investment and stewardship
We have a proud heritage in responsible investing originating 35 years ago. The Pendal Sustainable Balanced Fund was launched by the Bankers Trust group in 1984 as the BT Australia Charities Trust. Since then we have continued to enhance our consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, in both fundamental analysis as well as specific strategies.
In recognition of the potential impacts of these issues, Pendal Group is increasing focus on responsible investment (RI). Indeed, the speed at which previously long-term ESG issues are becoming more pressing, and consumer preferences and client expectations are changing, has amplified the strategic importance of strong capabilities in RI. Strong management of ESG issues for Pendal Group itself, is also an important consideration alongside managing such risks within our investments.
To that end, in the 2019 Financial Year Pendal Group increased its ownership stake in specialist ESG and RI service provider Regnan from 50 per cent to 100 per cent, bringing Regnan under the Pendal Group umbrella as an individual business unit.
Continuing to entrench responsible investment and stewardship into the broader business is a core part of our strategy over the next five years and beyond.
In February 2019 Pendal Group wholly acquired Regnan – adding 14 years’ average specialised ESG research experience to Pendal’s capabilities.
A long history with Regnan
Pendal is closely associated with Regnan’s history. The Regnan business originated with the Governance Advisory Service offered by Westpac, becoming a part of the business of BT Financial Group. Regnan became a separate entity in 2007, with BT Financial Group as a co-owner and client. Pendal acquired this part of the BT Financial Group’s business when it was established in 2007, as well as the shareholding and association with Regnan. Since then Regnan has continued to support institutional investors concerned with unattended risks (now more commonly referred to as ESG risks) with the potential to impact long-term value. It does this primarily through the provision of:
- High quality research, evolved from an innovative process developed within Monash University and acquired through a merger with Monash Sustainability Enterprises in 2010
- Outcomes-focused engagement with S&P/ASX200 listed companies across a wide range of topics with the potential to affect value
- Advisory services to assist others in formalising and enhancing their own RI approaches
The Regnan team of highly experienced analysts and consultants has an average of 14 years’ experience in ESG and has been retained in its entirety.
Whilst Regnan will continue to produce independent content, supported by an internal governance framework, its services are now primarily focused on asset owner clients and support for the Pendal Group, as well as other non-asset manager clients such as industry associations. As a result, from the 2020 Financial Year, Pendal will be the only asset manager in the market offering products which use Regnan’s unique insights.
The Regnan team has already commenced work across the Group to support the enhancement and upscaling of our responsible investment practices and offering. This complements other initiatives, including the expansion of the RI team in the 2019 Financial Year, and will continue in the 2020 Financial Year as we actively respond to changing client and community expectations.
We believe to truly capitalise on Regnan’s unique capability and insights we need to bring Regnan even closer to the investment process, with a focus on meeting clients’ increasingly sophisticated responsible investment and stewardship needs. This is a competitive advantage for Pendal from which multiple stakeholders will benefit.
Please also find relevant information on our management of ESG matters and responsible investing in the CSR Report Overview on pages 24-27 as well as the online CSR Report at pend.al/CSR-2019.
Regnan support for Pendal Group
Regnan has already begun working more closely with teams across the Group, including Pendal Australia, JOHCM and operational teams, on a range of ESG matters.
- Support for compliance with Australian modern slavery legislation
- Enhanced climate-related financial analysis and support for disclosure
- Bespoke research reports to support investment decision making and company engagement
- Enhanced integration of tailored ESG factors across asset classes
- Supported the development and testing of an impact investing framework to improve measurement, reporting and engagement on impact investments
- Evolve Regnan’s offering to ensure it remains market leading in a changing environment
- Continue to support the enhancement of the integration of ESG factors into Pendal Group investment processes
- Continue to expand ESG training and workshops across Pendal Australia and JOHCM
- Collaborate to further develop Pendal Group’s impact investing framework and product offering
- Support growth in FUM across Pendal Group’s ethical and sustainable portfolios
research analysts & consultants
years’ average specialised ESG experience