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STEWARDSHIP

Hermes EOS anticipates a world where the power of effecting change through engagement with companies is front of mind for all owners. That is because, for us, the link between these topics and long-term value for companies and investors is clear.

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Our vision is to contribute to a more sustainable form of capitalism by creating the world’s most effective stewardship platform.

Hans-Christoph Hirt

Head of Hermes EOS

What we achieve

Hermes EOS is a leading stewardship provider with a focus on achieving positive change. Our dedicated team of engagement and voting specialists enables pension funds and other longer-term institutional investors to achieve their fiduciary responsibilities and be more active owners of companies.

We believe more active ownership by investors is essential to build a global financial system that delivers improved long-term returns on investment as well as better, more sustainable outcomes for society, in the interests of ultimate beneficiaries.

What sets us apart

  • Client-led approach – we take a collaborative, client-led approach to determine the companies and the themes of our engagement on environmental, social, governance and strategic issues. Our Client Advisory Board and Council provide our clients with a unique forum to share their feedback and priorities to ensure that our service is developed in line with their needs and best practice.
  • Trusted team – we engage across many sectors, themes and countries and to do so requires a matrix of skills, languages, connections, and cultural understanding. We have deliberately built a dedicated and diverse team with backgrounds including government, banking, law, sciences, academia, accountancy, corporate governance, corporate strategy and the collective ability to speak fluently in over 10 languages. It is on this basis that the Hermes EOS team has the right skills, experience, gravitas and credibility to maintain constructive relationships with senior management of companies and influence for outcomes.
  • Leverage – we work on behalf of investors including corporate sponsored and sector pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, wealth managers and asset managers from 12 countries who entrust us with the stewardship of approximately £634 / €717 / $781 bn in assets under advice (as at 30 September 2019).
  • Techniques and approach – we believe that to generate the most change, engagement needs to be focused on board-level and senior executive staff and we have a track record of dialogue at this level across different territories. Our dialogue is constructive, objectives-driven and continuous for the long-term.
  • Engaging on materiality – we develop specific engagement strategies for each company based on its individual circumstances which are informed by our deep understanding across sectors, themes and markets. We seek to address the most material ESG risks and opportunities.
  • Environmental

    We seek relevant environmental indicators and encourage companies to manage their environmental footprint, set appropriate targets and disclose progress. We want to hold companies to account for the way they manage natural resources and work towards a sustainable low-carbon economy.

  • Social and Ethical

    We work to create long-term sustainable economies by improving human capital management and supply chains, raise health and safety standards, stamp out bribery and corruption and engage on labour and community relations, including disputes with unions.

  • Governance

    We promote transparency and high standards of accountability at companies worldwide. We seek reassurance that companies have an appropriate board structure, and that board members have the right skills, a diverse background and sufficient independence.

  • Strategy, risk and communication

    Stewardship is not just good for the environment and society. We want organisations to understand that it is good for business. We aim to embed sustainability in business strategy and change corporate culture for the better.

Our service areas

Corporate engagement – with companies that form part of the public equity and corporate fixed income holdings of our clients to seek positive change for our clients, the companies and the societies in which they operate. 

Public policy & market best practice engagement – with legislators, regulators, industry bodies and other standard-setters to shape capital markets and the environment in which companies and their investors operate.

Intelligent voting – recommendations that are, where practicable, engagement-led and involve communicating with company management and boards around the vote to ensure that our rationale is understood by the company and that recommendations are well-informed and lead to change where necessary. 

Portfolio screening – we help our clients to fulfil their stewardship obligations through monitoring their portfolios to regularly identify companies that are in or near breach of international norms and conventions.

Advisory services – we work with our clients to develop their responsible ownership policies, drawing on our extensive experience and expertise to advance their stewardship strategies.

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Amy D’Eugenio,
Head of Client Service and Business Development, Hermes EOS