Our Corporate Governance activities are an integral part of our investment process and go beyond the fiduciary duty to exercise our voting rights. As fiduciary, we act independently and solely in the best interest of our client investors. We believe that good Corporate Governance is an important source of higher relative shareholder returns on equity investments in the long-term.
Key elements of appropriate disclosure as the term of appointment of the lead audit partner as to demonstrate his/her independence and objectivity: max. 5 year rotation for the audit partner
Disclosure of the non-auditing services and the appropriateness of the related fees to validate the independence of the external auditors
Key requirements on companies regarding the disclosure and management of ESG issues
Consideration of company-specific ESG controversies and their materiality as part of the analysis (with a possibility of a negative vote on the discharge of directors)
Evaluation of ESG-related shareholder proposals on the basis of recognized standards, i.e. The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, The Ceres Blueprint for Sustainable Investing, the Sustainability Development Goals and the UN Global Compact
Considering the current restrictions on public meetings in the context of COVID-19, many of this years’ annual general meetings will take place online, without the physical presence of shareholders. Based on our continuous corporate governance activities and in line with our fiduciary duty, we have sent the following questions to the boards of some of our portfolio companies in written form:
1. For our debt investments and related bondholder meetings, a dedicated and separate process is set up and managed by the Fixed Income Platform of DWS in order to avoid any potential conflicts of interests