Element Investment Managers is a leader in the field of Responsible Investment in South Africa with a well documented track record highlighting the incorporation of Responsible Investment principles as an integral part of our investment process. We were South Africa’s first financial institution to offer an investment fund with an overlay of responsible investment and constructive engagement with the establishment of the Element Earth Equity Fund in October 2001. This approach was extended to all our funds under management shortly thereafter.
Element Investment Managers was also the first investment manager in South Africa to publish our complete voting record as well as our Voting and Proxy Policy and was also the first to incorporate detailed reporting on voting and our engagement and responsible investment initiatives in our client reporting – and has done so since 2001.
We were the first South African investment manager to sign the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) in May 2006 and have incorporated our client reporting in line with the UN standards. We make reference to the UN PRI in more detail in a separate link in this section of our website, but would highlight that we have incorporated Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and sustainability research into our investment process since 2001 as these factors can have a material impact on company valuations. In this regard our responsible investment process preceded the establishment of the UN PRI in 2006 and we set out our own detailed Principles in November 2004.
Our long-term investment focus drives our involvement in research and disclosure initiatives that will enhance our understanding of the long-term risks facing the companies in which we invest on our clients’ behalf. In this regard we continue to be signatories and supporters of a number of other international and local initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). We are a founding sponsor of the CDP in South Africa which reports on and aims to improve the disclosure of the carbon emission levels of major South African listed and unlisted companies.
Element Investment Managers supports the introduction of the UK Stewardship Code and the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA).