Summary of responses to the PRI reporting and assessment tool 2008

Advantage Asset Managers (Pty) Limited

Organisational Overview
1. What were your organisation's total assets under management as of 31 December 2007 (in millions)?57771
Please select currencySouth African rand (ZAR)
1a. If 'Other' was selected, please specify the other currency hereNo Answer
4. Please provide an overview of your asset mix as of 31 December 2007 (in %):
Listed equity (developed market, active)5.25
Listed equity (developed market, passive)0
Listed equity (emerging market, active)39.08
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)4.34
Fixed income - developed markets4.25
Fixed income - emerging markets26.08
Real estate or property0.03
Private equity0
Hedge fund10.69
Infrastructure0
Currency0
Commodities0
Cash9.56
Other (Please specify): SRI & Real Return 0.72
5. Please indicate what percentage of your assets are managed internally and what percentage are managed externally (in %):
 
Internal
External
Listed equity (developed market, active)0100
Listed equity (developed market, passive)00
Listed equity (emerging market, active)0100
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)0100
Fixed income - developed markets0100
Fixed income - emerging markets0100
Real estate or property0100
Private equity00
Hedge fund0100
Infrastructure00
Currency00
Commodities00
Cash0100
Other (Please specify): SRI & Real Return 0100
6. Please provide the following contact details for your main PRI contact:
URL for webpage outlining the specific services and products your organisation has to assist signatories in fulfilling their commitments to the Principleswww.advantage.am/products.aspx
Principle 1
8. Do you have a statement that makes specific reference to the integration of responsible investment (RI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues within investment decision making and ownership practices?Yes, it is integrated into a broader statement
9. In what year were RI/ESG issues first formally addressed in a policy statement (integrated or independent)?2004
10. Has your statement that makes specific reference to the integration of RI or ESG issues been disclosed publicly?Yes
11. Please indicate how this statement that makes specific reference to the integration of RI or ESG issues can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):Currently available directly from Advantage
14. For what percentage of your external assets under management are RI/ESG issues integrated into the investment decision-making processes of your external investment managers? (in %)
Listed equity (developed market, active)50
Listed equity (emerging market, active)50
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)50
Fixed income - developed markets50
Fixed income - emerging markets50
Real estate or property50
Hedge fund50
Cash50
SRI & Real Return50
15. To what extent have RI/ESG issues been integrated into the investment decision-making processes of your external investment managers?
Listed equity (developed market, active)To a small extent
Listed equity (emerging market, active)To a small extent
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)To a small extent
Fixed income - developed marketsTo a small extent
Fixed income - emerging marketsTo a small extent
Real estate or propertyTo a small extent
Hedge fundTo a small extent
SRI & Real ReturnTo a small extent
16. What proportion of your assets involve screening out or excluding stocks or sectors based on ethical (rather than long-term financial) criteria? (in %)5
17. Do you have any staff dedicated to RI/ESG issue analysis and/or implementation?
 
Dedicated
Combined full-time equivalents
Investment analyst00
Research analyst00
RI/ESG issue policy advisor00
(proxy) Voting specialist00
Engagement specialist00
Portfolio manager00
Other (Please specify):00
18. Which Board committee or other executive body has overall responsibility for RI/ESG issues?Chief Investment Officer & Chief Operating Officer
19. Do you assess the capabilities of internal investment staff to incorporate RI/ESG issues?No Answer
20. Do you assess the capabilities of external investment managers to incorporate RI/ESG issues?Yes
21. Approximately what percentage of your internal non-ESG-specialist investment management staff received RI/ESG training in 2007? (in %)
22. What forms of RI/ESG training or awareness raising have been invested in, encouraged or provided for internal staff (investment and other)?Informal internal training,Formal internal training,Conferences,Professional programs,Regular briefings on key issues
23. Did you support the development of nonproprietary RI/ESG issue-related tools, metrics, analysis or academic research in 2007?To a moderate extent
24. Please indicate how the results of nonproprietary RI/ESG issue-related tools, metrics, analysis or academic research development you supported can be obtained if they have been disclosed publicly (a URL would be sufficient):www.jse.co.za/sri
25. Have you advocated/supported/ encouraged/participated in RI/ESG issue-related industry-wide training for investment professionals during 2007?Sponsored industry events,Advocated RI/ESG coverage in professional training programs (CFA, MBA, etc.),Spoke at or attended conferences,Had dialogue or exchanges with peers,Other (please specify): 'specification for other is the dedicated RI issue of Collective Insight publication'
26. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 1?100% SRI product, Collaboration with RiskMetrics and Collective Insight publication dedicated to RI issues
27. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 1?Not knowing if agreements with fund managers adequately cover all topics (RI related) and who to turn to for guidance on these principles
28. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 1 here.Enter text response here.
Principle 2
29. To what extent did you employ the following approaches in your 2007 active ownership strategy for listed equities?
(Proxy) votingTo a small extent
Direct engagement conducted privatelyNot applicable
Direct engagement conducted publiclyNot applicable
Collaborative engagementPlanning to in 2008
Filing shareholder resolutionsNot applicable
Co-filing shareholder resolutionsNot applicable
Other (Please specify):No Answer
30. To what extent did you employ the following approaches in your 2007 active ownership strategy for all asset classes other than listed equity?
(Proxy) votingTo a small extent
Direct engagement conducted privatelyNot at all
Direct engagement conducted publiclyNot at all
Collaborative engagementNot at all
Other (Please specify):No Answer
31. Do you have a (proxy) voting policy?Yes - disclosed publicly
32. To what extent does your (proxy) voting policy direct action on ESG issues? For each issue, please indicate the extent of direction.
EnvironmentalTo a small extent
SocialTo a small extent
GovernanceTo a small extent
33. Does your (proxy) voting policy apply to all voting regions (where possible)?Yes
34. Please indicate how your (proxy) voting policy can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):Directly from Advantage and included in all fund manager agreements.
35. Do you ensure that voting is done in accordance with your (proxy) voting policy?Yes for some
36. What percentage of total votes cast were against management? (in %)30
37. What percentage of shareholder resolutions relating to environmental, social or governance issues was supported? (in %)
Environmental30
Social30
Governance30
38. Do you conduct (proxy) voting on behalf of your clients?Yes - According to our own policy
39. How many shareholder resolutions related to RI/ESG issues did you participate in during 2007?
As lead filer
As co-filer
Planning to be lead filer in 2008
Planning to be co-filer in 2008
40. How were portfolio companies engaged with in 2007? Please check all that apply.No Answer
41. Do you systematically bring RI/ESG issue-related engagement opportunities to your clients?No Answer
42. Do you systematically ask your external investment managers to bring RI/ESG issue-related engagement opportunities to you?
43. How many portfolio companies did you engage directly/were engaged on your behalf on ESG issues in 2007?
 
Extensive engagement
Moderate engagement
Basic engagement
Environmental
Social
Governance
44. What RI/ESG-related issues were addressed in your shareowner engagement initiatives? Please check all that apply.No Answer
45. How were RI/ESG issue-related engagement targets and topics identified? Please check all that apply.No Answer
46. Do you set RI/ESG issue-related engagement objectives and attempt to evaluate success?No Answer
47. Have you sought evidence relating to the effectiveness of your active ownership strategy? Please check all that apply.Other (please specify): '(Specification:)None currently, planning to in 08'
48. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 2?Collaboration with RiskMetrics to provide guidelines, indicators re SA company assessment
49. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 2?Guidance on how to tackle and apply all principles and to understand exactly what needs to be done
50. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 2 here.Currently nothing additional
Principle 3
51. Have you asked that investee companies (or other investment entities) produce standardized reporting on their RI/ESG issue policies, practices or performance (within annual financial reports or other formats)?To a small extent
52. What format of standardized reporting on RI/ESG issue policies, practices or performance have you requested?Other (please specify): 'Planning to do some in 2008'
53. Have you provided feedback to investee companies (or other investment entities) on their reporting on RI/ESG issues?Planning to in 2008
54. Have you sought information from companies regarding their adoption of/adherence to norms, standards, codes of conduct or international initiatives related to RI/ESG issues?
AdoptionPlanning to in 2008
AdherencePlanning to in 2008
55. Which norms, standards, codes of conduct or international initiatives related to RI/ESG issues have you sought information about from companies, with regard to their adoption of/adherence to?No Answer
56. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 3?The collaboration with ISS / RiskMetrics, whereby we collaborate on RI and gain info on proxy voting
57. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 3?Guidelines in terms of exactly what to do are limited and not as clear particularly to our business
58. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 3 here.Enter text response here.
Principle 4
59. Are you considering RI/ESG requirements when searching for and selecting the following?
External investment managerYes
Investment consultantNot applicable
Proxy votingYes
Engagement overlayNot applicable
Investment researchYes
Internal operations (for example, purchasing, travel, office space etc.)No
Other (Please specify):Not applicable
60. Have you linked the following to performance on RI/ESG issues?
Investment monitoringNo
Incentive structure (internal investments)Not applicable
Incentive structure (external investments)Not applicable
Contractual relationships with external investment managersYes
61. Are the default pension funds or retirement plans offered to your employees also signatories to the PRI?Yes
62. To what extent do you encourage your service providers to become PRI signatories?To a small extent
63. To what extent do you encourage your clients to become PRI signatories?To a small extent
64. To what extent do you encourage peer organisations to become PRI signatories?To a small extent
65. Do you have evidence that you have played a role in the improved integration of RI/ESG issues by external investment managers?To a small extent
66. Does your broker evaluation process include an ESG component or do you have a budget to pay cash for ESG broker research?No Answer
67. Have you revisited any relationships with service providers in light of RI/ESG issue-related capabilities?Not applicable
68. Have you engaged in dialogue, lobbying or initiatives pertaining to government policy and/or industry regulations (for example, stock exchanges, accounting standards) related to RI/ESG issues in 2007?Planning to in 2008
69. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 4?Collectie Insight publication - Issue dedicated to RI, and also PIC tender whereby we requested whether each manager that tendered was a UNPRI signatory
70. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 4?No knowing how forcefully we could co-opt our managers to become signatories
71. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 4 here.Enter text response here.
Principle 5
72. Did you use the PRI Engagement Clearinghouse in 2007?Planning to in 2008
73. Did your use of the clearinghouse result in subsequent action or collaboration with other signatories?No Answer
74. Please elaborate on how the PRI Engagement Clearinghouse could be made more useful:Currently have not used so cannot comment at this stage
75. To what extent do you participate in the following RI/ESG issue-related collaborative engagement initiatives and/or industry associations? For those not listed, please use the "other" field:Carbon Disclosure Project,Marathon Club,Other (please specify): ''
77. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 5?Didnt achieve too much for this principle as other signatories see it as their proprietary intellect
78. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 5?Proprietary intellect of other signatories acts as something of a barrier when it comes to collaboration
79. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 5 here.Enter text response here.
Principle 6
80. Have you disclosed how RI/ESG issues are integrated into your investment processes?Yes - to clients or beneficiaries
81. Please indicated how this disclosure of how RI/ESG issues are integrated into your investment processes can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):Proxy voting guidelines included in all mandates - available directly form Advantage
82. To what extent do you disclose your annual (proxy) voting record?Planning to in 2008
83. Please indicated how your (proxy) voting record can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):
84. Do you systematically report (privately and/or publicly) on your RI/ESG issue-related engagement activities, results and progress?No Answer
85. Please indicate how your reporting on RI/ESG issue-related engagement activities, results and progress can be obtained (if it is publicly available, a URL would be sufficient):
86. Did you communicate on RI/ESG issues and the PRI to beneficiaries or plan participants in 2007?
87. Please indicate how your communication on RI/ESG issues and the PRI to beneficiaries or plan participants can be obtained (if it is publicly available, a URL would be sufficient):
88. Are you undertaking any additional efforts to raise awareness of the PRI and RI/ESG issues amongst stakeholders?To a moderate extent
89. What evidence do you have of the impact on external investment manager practices? Please check those that apply.Investment policy,Proxy voting
90. Have you sought to determine what impact your overall RI/ESG issue-related efforts (voting and engagement, investment decision making, disclosure, etc.) have had on corporate behavior or performance?Planning to in 2008
91. Have you sought to determine what impact your RI/ESG issue-related approach has had on the performance of your portfolio?Planning to in 2008
92. Have you sought to determine what impact your RI/ESG issue-related efforts, requests and guidance have had on the consideration of RI/ESG issues by your external service providers excluding external investment managers (for example: research providers, consultants, etc.)?To a small extent
93. Do you report on progress and/or achievements relating to the PRI or RI, and how would you like to publish your response to this assessment?Please automatically publish our responses to the reporting and assessment tool in full on the PRI website
94. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 6?Greater focus on reporting of RI and ESG issues - more to come in 08
95. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 6?Competitive edge of other signatories that have the know-how for all ESG and RI - we need to collaborate but need to identify how to cover the cost
96. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 6 here.Enter text response here.
Emerging Markets
97. To what extent have you actively thought about how to integrate RI/ESG issues within investment decision making and ownership practices with regards to emerging markets investments?To a moderate extent
98. Please describe your activities with regards to integrating RI/ESG issues within investment decision making and ownership practices with regards to emerging markets investments.We invest mainly in SA which is an emerging market
99. To what extent do you believe the integration of ESG issues in emerging markets is as relevant as the integration of ESG issues in other markets?To a greater extent
100. To what extent did you employ the following approaches in your 2007 active ownership strategy in emerging markets?
(Proxy) votingTo a small extent
Direct engagement conducted privatelyNot Applicable
Direct engagement conducted publiclyNot Applicable
Collaborative engagementTo a small extent
Filing shareholder resolutionsNot Applicable
Co-filing shareholder resolutionsNot Applicable
Other (Please specify): Nothing else applicable Not Applicable
Nothing else applicable
101. To what extent have you developed a comprehensive RI/ESG engagement capability regarding business activities in emerging markets?Planning to in 2008
102. Please list the three most often addressed RI/ESG-related issues in your shareholder engagement initiatives in emerging markets?
1.N/A
2.Not applicable
3.Not applicable
103. Have you sought information from companies regarding their adoption of/adherence to norms, standards, codes of conduct or international initiatives related to RI/ESG issues in emerging markets?
AdoptionPlanning to in 2008
AdherencePlanning to in 2008
104. Do you take RI/ESG considerations into account when selecting and approving emerging markets external investment managers?To a moderate extent
105. Do your consultants factor RI/ESG issues into their short listing of emerging markets external investment managers?To a moderate extent
106. Do you have evidence that you have played a role in the improved integration of RI/ESG issues by external investment managers investing in emerging markets?To a small extent
107. To what extent have you worked together with other investors to improve the effectiveness of implementing the PRI in emerging markets?To a small extent
108. Are you undertaking any additional efforts to raise awareness of RI/ESG issues in emerging markets?To a moderate extent
109. Have you sought to determine what impact your RI/ESG issue-related efforts (voting and engagement, investment decision making, disclosure, etc.) have had on corporate behaviour or performance in emerging markets?Planning to in 2008
110. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to the PRI in emerging markets here.
111. What is your top PRI-related goal/priority for emerging markets in 2008?Develop research & proxy voting monitoring engine
Closing Comments
112. Why did your organisation join the PRI?Fits with our principles, we had embraced these before the PRI came about, the introduction resonated with our underlying believes
113. Please describe the benefits you have enjoyed as a result of signing the PRI:Marketing tool. It has provided us with additional platform for debate with external managers
114. To what extent do you believe the PRI has succeeded in changing investor behaviour and/or raising awareness or capacity on RI/ESG issues? Do you have any examples you could share?Some extent - expect will do so even more going forward
115. What are the top three activities the PRI Secretariat could undertake to enhance and encourage further implementation of the PRI by current and prospective signatories?
1.Assessment and verification
2.Integration with other principles / signatories
3.Emphasis the need and importance even more
116. What are your top three PRI-related goals/priorities for 2008?
1.Collaboration with RiskMetrics
2.Expand proxy voting framework & research capacity
3.More emphasis on ESG issues in all areas of the business
117. Please rank the six principles from most difficult to implement to least difficult to implement:
Most difficult
1
Principle 2
2Principle 3
3Principle 5
4Principle 4
5Principle 1
Least difficult
6
Principle 6