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RESPONSIBILITY

Investing to improve retirement and help create a better society

We recognise that as fiduciaries, entrusted with the savings of millions of individuals, we have responsibilities that go beyond those defined in any contract - these are to our clients and their ultimate beneficiaries, and also to the financial community and broader society in which we operate. We have these responsibilities because our activities will have impacts on the world in which our beneficiaries live and work today as well as the one in which they will retire into tomorrow.

We are cognisant of our commitment to clients to deliver superior risk-adjusted investment returns within the terms of our mandate. We also understand however, that the way we achieve our investment objectives will have an impact that is more than purely financial. As such we seek to provide both for a better financial future as well as for a better, more sustainable, society in which to spend that future. We seek holistic returns.

More detail about our approach is set out below.

Holistic returns

Our purpose – to help people invest better, retire better and to create a better society for all – compels us to deliver holistic returns: outcomes that go far beyond the financial by also benefiting society, the environment and the wider world. This is why we analyse companies’ long-term opportunities and risks, understand the social and environmental externalities linked to their operations, and engage them in order to generate positive and sustainable returns and impacts.

By seeking sustainable companies and assets, strong risk-adjusted financial returns and social and environmental benefits, we aim to generate holistic returns.

ESG aware investment strategies

We believe that a responsible approach to investing is appropriate across all asset classes and for all investment strategies.

Our ability to mitigate ESG risks and to capture investment opportunities arising from these considerations is essential to achieving consistent investment outperformance and delivering for our clients.

Active ownership and management

We do not believe that our responsibilities as investors stop with a decision to buy or sell a stock or asset. Instead, across our strategies we endeavour to act as a responsible steward of investments through constructive dialogue, utilisation of our rights as investors and taking action where necessary.

Our stewardship business, Hermes EOS, boasting one of the largest stewardship resources globally, enables asset owners to meet their fiduciary responsibilities more effectively (and meaningfully).

In situations where we directly manage assets, such as in real estate, we are committed to acting consistently and clearly as stewards of the assets which we own.

Advocating in beneficiaries’ interest

We also believe it is our responsibility to lead and participate in discussion and debate about the fiduciary responsibilities of institutional investors to their clients, their stakeholders and ultimately, society at large. To that end, Hermes has a broad public policy engagement agenda directed towards promoting responsible investment and ownership practices and more pertinently advocating for a global financial system that operates in the interests of its ultimate beneficiaries.

Behaving as a responsible business

We are conscious that we should strive to meet the expectations that we have of others.

We are proud to have a strong culture of responsibility and aspire to both maintain and further foster this client focused approach. The Hermes Pledge of Responsibility and Transparency, created in 2015, expresses our commitment to always put the interests of our clients and their beneficiaries at the heart of what we do.

In addition to our behaviours as individual employees and the delivery of strong investment performance for our clients, we also believe we should lead by example as a firm. Hermes strives therefore to make a difference, not only through our investment solutions, but in how we contribute to both the financial system and wider community.