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 portfolio companies are aligned with your commitment to responsible investment.

Defining Engagement


We consider engagement as interactions and dialogue conducted between an investor, or their service provider, and a current or potential investee (e.g. company), or a non-issuer stakeholder (e.g. an external investment manager or policy maker) to improve practice on an ESG factor, make progress on sustainability outcomes, or improve public disclosures (PRI Stewardship for Sustainability, 2023).

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, ESG Management, and Active Ownership. These include:


We focus our engagement with companies on the most material impacts, risks and opportunities in relation to environmental, social, and governance sustainability matters.

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 the extent to which it has progressed, and in which direction, since the beginning 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 set-up, as well as selected E, S or G issues such as climate change and corporate tax. While the specific milestones for each of these areas vary, in general, we aim to understand the extent to which a company recognises certain ESG issues, the types of targets, strategies and management initiatives in place, the level of transparency, and the actual performance.

Engagement Rating

We combine ESG research, insights collected from engagement dialogues, and milestone assessments to assign key ratings on a five-scale spectrum: A, B, C, D, E. These ratings provide clear and visible results of the engagements. Our key ratings are the company’s level of selected ESG Risks and Opportunities Exposure, the corresponding Management Level and Performance Level, the Engagement Potential, the Engagement Progress, and finally the Investment Signal, which is not investment advice, but rather an indication of the extent to which an investee company aligns with your commitment to responsible investment.

Engagement in Practice

Whether we engage on climate, tax or other ESG issues, we use our solid bi-annual engagement process with proven results:

1. Policy and Strategy

If you don’t have a policy and strategy for responsible investment and engagement already, we can support formulating a draft aligned with international best practice and your own values.

2. ESG Due diligence

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

3. Confirm the engagements

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

4. Selection of Engagement Levels

As an investor client you decide the engagement level based on our recommendations, and in terms of scope, type of dialogue and reporting format.

5. Engagement Goal

Engagement goals are formulated to guide the engagement process and progress measurement.

6. ESG Assessment and Rating

Before inviting the companies for engagement dialogue, we gather relevant research and assess the companies to identify the gaps and prepare the meeting agenda.

7. Engagement Dialogue

We always aim to meet with the engaged companies bi-annually, either face-to-face, via conference calls or through written dialogue, depending on the engagement level selected by the client. During these interactions we discuss the company’s plans and initiatives to address the issues raised, as well as our recommendations for improvement and alignment with best practices. As an investor client, you are, of course, welcome to participate directly in the engagement meetings or contribute questions to be discussed.

8. Reporting

After each bi-annual engagement round, we report on the dialogues and results through a portfolio report and individual company engagement reports. The reporting format depends on the engagement level you, as an investor client, have selected. In all fairness, the prepared reports are reviewed by the engaged company before they are made available in your dedicated Client Webroom. To measure and report on the engagement results, we use our dedicated milestone and rating system. With the five-scale rating (A, B, C, D, E), you can easily obtain an overview of the Engagement Potential, Risk & Opportunity Exposure, Management Level, Performance Level, Engagement Progress, and Investment Signal for all engaged companies.

9. Escalation and Proxy Voting

If the engagement does not lead to positive results after a certain period of time, we will escalate our engagement efforts using nine possible steps, including proxy voting. It can be conducted through our voting partner, Minerva Analytics, or we can provide voting recommendations to be utilised with your preferred proxy voting provider.

10. Engagement Follow-up

Following engagement with portfolio companies, we can identify the investment managers responsible for investing in the most critical engaged companies. This information can provide valuable input to asset owners’ regular dialogues with investment managers. Upon request, we can also support you by engaging directly with investment managers, the media, or other stakeholders.

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 work. The latter reviews our engagement outcome and results.

In short, our quality assurance covers a series of time-bound audit procedures, including data screening activities, as well as industry-level and company-level assessments. In our quality control process, 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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