KPSI 2 - Engagement and Voting
WHEB engages with businesses, regulators and other actors to understand the market environment and to exert its influence. During 2019 WHEB engaged with 43 companies (representing 83% of the companies in the portfolio) on 112 occasions. Engagement is led by members of the investment team who follow demanding bespoke voting guidelines that have been developed by WHEB.
Compared to previous years, company engagement in 2019 focused much more on social issues such as board diversity representing 23% of engagement (2018: 6%) and environmental issues such as climate change representing 21% (2018: 5%).
WHEB also records information on how successful it believes it has been with its engagement. Each engagement is categorised as either ‘successful’, ‘partially successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’. In 2019 they judged 21% of their engagements to have been successful, 49% as partially successful and 30% as unsuccessful. This represents an improvement in performance compared to 2018
Detailed case studies of WHEB’s engagement work with companies is available here. WHEB has observed that the number of companies that are willing to engage with them on any topic is increasing. However, at the same time, they have also seen a lengthening list of individual engagement topics that companies refuse to engage on.