Our approach to ESG
Fidante Partners (Fidante) believes that Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues can have a material impact on long-term investment performance. Fidante is committed to helping its investment managers to achieve best practice ESG integration within their investment processes by providing them with tools and specialist resources.
Supporting our boutique managers on ESG Integration
Our boutique investment teams are able to draw on a dedicated ESG Specialist within the Fidante Partners business as well as utilising Fidante’s governance team for proxy voting and corporate actions. Fidante’s ESG Specialist provides investment managers with access to knowledge and expertise in ESG integration and active ownership practices. As ESG integration continues to evolve, access to this specialist knowledge enables the investment teams to continuously strive towards best-practice.
We tailor our approach to our investment managers’ individual needs at every stage of the boutique life cycle. From launch to maturity our boutique partners can access our ESG Specialist for bespoke advice and support in their ESG integration work.
How we approach responsible investment in Manager Selection
Fidante’s boutique selection process involves a detailed assessment of the ESG commitment and capability of each investment team at every stage of the due diligence process. We seek to partner with boutique investment managers who are committed to continuous progress in ESG integration.
Fidante Partners (Fidante) invests in and forms long-term alliances with talented investment professionals to create, grow and support specialist, boutique funds management businesses. We believe that high quality investment practices should involve, wherever possible, an assessment of ESG-related risks and opportunities. We therefore seek to partner with boutique investment managers who are committed to continuous progress in ESG integration.
Assessment of ESG in Manager Selection
We assess each manager’s capability and commitment to ESG integration at every stage of the boutique selection process. Our ESG Specialist is involved in this process, engaging with prospective boutiques to understand their integration approach.
When assessing investment managers as potential boutique partners Fidante will review the following criteria:
Assessment of ESG philosophy and integration process
We seek to understand an investment manager’s ESG beliefs, process for integration and how ESG factors influence investment decisions. Key areas covered in our due diligence process include:
- ESG integration goals, approach and strategy
- How ESG factors influence investment decisions
- ESG people and oversight
- Process/portfolio construction/investment valuation
- Engagement approach and impact on investment decisions
- Voting approach and impact on investment decisions (listed equity only)
We proactively encourage our boutique partners to:
discuss ESG considerations undertaken in their own investment decision-making and ownership practices in their reports to Fidante; and
- encourage the boutique investment managers we partner with to become signatories to the PRI Principles.
Agnieszka Cochrane, ESG Specialist
Our ESG Specialist, Agnieszka Cochrane, has extensive experience working with our boutique investment teams and their clients. Her strong relationships and knowledge of their investment processes make her well placed to understand their ESG beliefs and goals and to identify areas for continuous progress in integration.
We take a bottom up approach to working with our boutique partners on ESG. Agnieszka works with each of our managers’ own ESG beliefs to advise on best practice application of ESG insights for each asset class.
Agnieszka is fully focused on researching, developing and advising on ESG practices across Challenger and the Fidante boutique suite, providing investment teams across the firm with expert knowledge on ESG topics, developments in ESG integration and insights into the ESG needs of clients.
Agnieszka has a specific client focus, engaging regularly with clients and consultants on how investment managers can assist them with their own responsible investment commitments.
In this dedicated role, Agnieszka is able to build networks across the responsible investment community, connecting our boutique investment teams with asset owners and asset managers for collaboration on ESG-related issues and facilitating the sharing of knowledge across the industry.
Prior to Fidante, Agnieszka worked in London at Newton Investment Management and at BNY Mellon, both leading firms in ESG integration. Agnieszka has a BSc. (Hons) from University College London (UCL), IMC from CFA Society (UK) and is a Chartered Investment Management Analyst (CIMA).
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Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia-Pacific
Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia-Pacific is an investor-led initiative convened to promote effective action among investee companies in the APAC region to find, fix and prevent modern slavery, labour exploitation and human trafficking in their value chains. The leadership offered by this group of institutional investors aims not only to reduce modern slavery risks in the region, but also to be a source of significant learning and insight for investors around the world.
Future IM/Pact industry initiative aimed at attracting more diverse talent into the investment teams of Australia’s leading super funds and fund managers, with initial focus on women. The ability to build high performing teams depends on attracting and valuing diverse talent who bring different perspectives. Future IM/Pact want to help Australia’s best and brightest problem solvers from diverse backgrounds consider how they can impact the world as an investor.