Escala Partners was established in May 2013 and since that time has increasingly considered the importance and impact of environmental, social and corporate governance (“ESG”) criteria into its investment advice, acknowledging that it is an evolving issue. The consideration of ESG issues by Escala Partners’ investment team (“CIO team”) led by Giselle Roux, applies to most asset classes and is important to protect and manage the investments on behalf of the firm’s clients.
We are pleased to advise that Escala Partners has formed an association with Ownership Matters (“OM”) 1.
OM is a governance advisory service to institutional investors and has more than 20 years of experience in Australian governance research, analysis and proxy voting advice. OM provides ESG and proxy advisory services to significant and well-respected Australian superannuation and sovereign wealth funds. Regarding Australian superannuation funds, OM advises the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (“ACSI”), whose membership represents approximately 13% of shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (“ASX”).
We are delighted to be the first wealth management group to engage such services.
OM and Escala Partners believe that a joint approach to governance, including a focus on accounting practices (accuracies and consistencies), an assessment of executive incentives that may skew corporate behaviour and the quality of boards is warranted to add an additional filter to ownership risk adjusted valuations. OM has unique insights into board performance and how it relates to certain companies.
Escala Partners does not intend to create an activist bias but rather engage OM as a reliable and consistent advisor to help highlight companies with good governance and filter those with poor governance.
Escala Partners’ CIO team has established a solid working relationship with OM. It is not Escala’s intention to distribute or circulate OM reports but rather embed OM’s content in the advice the CIO team delivers to you through your advisor. From time to time, Escala Partners may also advise on its recommended voting strategy for certain AGM’s and EGM’s.
It is our view that long term share price ratings and that of the overall ASX is well served by close attention and surveillance by all shareholders. Escala Partners seeks to build a strategic partnership with OM to increase the aggregate influence of all shareholders. We want your vote to count.
We expect that you, the client and us, the wealth management firm, should benefit from our new and fresh approach to monitoring and rating corporate governance.