Our engagement approach is based on a robust milestone assessment framework designed with one clear objective in mind – to inform you, the institutional investor, about the engagement progress and how your investee companies are aligned with your commitment to responsible investment.

Defining Engagement


We consider engagement (or active ownership under Principle 2 of the UNPRI) as institutional investors’ efforts to encourage companies they invest in to become more responsible in managing their most material ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues.

Successful engagement with the investee companies would improve their ESG management, thereby reducing risks and the financial risk premium, all other things being equal. This potential positive effect to financial return is supported by several empirical studies such as the MSCI alpha study.

How We Assess Engagement


Guidelines and Principles

In all that we do, we refer to widely-accepted international norms, guidelines and industry best practices on responsible investment and ESG management. These include, for example:


We focus our engagement with companies on the ESG risks and opportunities that are material to them. Issues of significant potential business implications and stakeholder concerns are considered to have a high materiality.

Milestones Assessment

A milestone-based rating approach is embedded in all our engagement work. The purpose is to reflect a company’s current status of ESG management and to measure how much and in which direction it has progressed since day one of engagement. We have developed various sets of milestones for assessing a company’s management efforts on ESG incidents, the most material ESG issues, the general sustainability and corporate governance setup, as well as selected E, S or G themes such as climate change and corporate tax. While the specific milestones for each of these areas vary, in general, we seek to understand to what extent a company recognises certain ESG issues, what kind of targets, strategies and management initiatives are in place, the level of transparency and the actual performance

Key indicators

We combine ESG research, insights collected from engagement dialogues and the milestone assessments to produce several key indicators to give you clear and visible results of the engagements. Typical indicators are the company’s level of exposure to selected ESG risks and opportunities, the corresponding level of management, the engagement potential, the engagement progress, and the investment signal, which indicates the extent to which a company is aligned with your commitment to responsible investment.

Engagement in Practice

1. Due diligence

We screen your investment portfolios to identify and flag companies that meet your selected engagement criteria.

2. Confirm the engagements

Based on the due diligence results, you can flexibly choose the individual companies for engagement that best suit your investment priorities and ESG approach.

3. Prepare for dialogues

An engagement goal is formulated, based on further ESG research and assessments, to guide the engagement process and progress measurement.

4. Meet the companies

We meet the companies twice per year to discuss their initiatives and plans to address the material ESG risks and opportunities, as well as our recommendations with reference to international norms, guidelines and industry best practices. Institutional investors are welcome to participate in these dialogues, which are usually conference calls or in-person meetings. If a company does not display engagement progress after a certain period, we will escalate our engagement efforts in discussion with the investors.

5. Report on results

You will receive reporting bi-annually, which include an engagement report (PDF) for each company detailing the engagement progress and content of the dialogues along with other key performance indicators, and a portfolio report (PDF and Excel) covering further assessment on the alignment of the engaged companies with your commitment to responsible investment.

Interested in the key indicators
we report to institutional investors? 
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Quality Assurance


Our quality management covers quality assurance and quality control routines. The former focuses on procedures applied, expertise involved, and basic information applied in our engagement works. The latter reviews our engagement outcome and results.

In brief, our quality assurance scheme covers a set of time bound audit routines on, for example, data screening activities, industry-level assessment and company-level assessment procedures. For our quality control scheme, we check the outcomes and results in the course of engaging and preparing reports for institutional investors using 1) collaborative work processes, 2) sample inspections and 3) reviews. For instance, at least two engagement experts review each engagement report, which is also sent to the engaged company for review before it is made available to our institutional investor clients.

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