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  • November 1, 2018
    Sinopec
    Christine Chow
    China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec, is one of the major oil and gas companies in China. The company is a majority-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Sinopec Group. Its operations include the exploration, production, storage and transportation of petroleum and natural gas.
  • November 1, 2018
    Siam Cement
    Christine Chow
    The Siam Cement Public Company Limited (SCG) is a diversified industrial company in Thailand. The company's operations include cement manufacturing; petrochemicals manufacturing; paper and packaging manufacturing; building product manufacturing; and distribution.
  • October 26, 2018
    Hermes EOS highlights governance concerns at alibaba
    Christine Chow
    Ahead of the Alibaba (“NYSE: BABA”) AGM on Wednesday 31 October 2018, Dr Christine Chow, Director of Hermes EOS, highlights the issues that Hermes EOS are raising with the Board of Directors and outlines voting recommendations to clients.
  • October 26, 2018
    Hermes EOS highlights governance concerns at alibaba
    Christine Chow
    Ahead of the Alibaba (“NYSE: BABA”) AGM on Wednesday 31 October 2018, Dr Christine Chow, Director of Hermes EOS, highlights the issues that Hermes EOS are raising with the Board of Directors and outlines voting recommendations to clients.
  • July 23, 2018
    Solving the plastic problem: investing in a circular economy
    Christine Chow
    Society’s addiction to plastics is pushing the environment to the limit. Despite the recent media focus on plastic as an environmental issue, its popularity as a raw material continues to rise – experts estimate production will increase by a further 40% over the next decade. However, in a recent engagement insight, Full cycle: investing for a circular economy, Dr. Christine Chow, Director, and Emma Berntman, Engagement, Hermes EOS, explain that behind the demonisation of plastic itself lies the need for a paradigm shift in the way we produce and consume goods – one in which we can participate as investors as well as consumers. Plastic planet There are reasons for the ongoing ubiquity of plastic: it is cheap, lightweight and waterproof. Plastic has become emblematic of the problems inherent in the traditional consumption-led economic model. Its durability and visibility mean we are now literally seeing it everywhere: of the 8.3bn metric tonnes of plastic ever produced, an estimated 4.9bn tonnes have been discarded rather than incinerated or recycled. While it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of plastics, such as the Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) widely used in drinks bottles, through more effective and comprehensive recycling, the way plastic is used in other products makes recycling almost impossible. This is because they were never designed to be recycled: they remain part of an economic model in which products are produced, used and thrown away.
  • June 20, 2018
    Hermes EOS to raise shareholder concerns at Hon Hai AGM
    Christine Chow
    Ahead of the Hon Hai Precision Industry (“Foxconn Technology”) AGM on Friday 22 June, Dr. Christine Chow, Director of Hermes EOS, highlights the issues that she will be raising with the Founder and Chair, Mr Terry Gou, and his senior team. Hermes EOS has been engaging with Hon Hai since 2010 and we have been encouraged to see the company make progress on the areas of human capital management, transparency and communications and improved sustainability reporting. All of which are instrumental in creating value for long-term shareholders. However, Hon Hai is now at a critical stage of transformation as it evolves from a traditional hardware manufacturing firm to a company that provides smart platforms and solutions. We are now asking the company to build on the progress and fully address the concerns of the shareholders that we represent. Strategy With this evolution of the business it is clear that Hon Hai needs a well-defined, long term strategy with clear targets which is articulated to shareholders in a transparent and in-depth way. We believe that the company can make improvements in this area, bringing it in line with the reporting provided by its peers. There are three key areas in which it can achieve this:
  • June 18, 2018
    China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
    Christine Chow
    China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec, is one of the major oil and gas companies in China. The company is a majority-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Sinopec Group. Its operations include the exploration, production, storage and transportation of petroleum and natural gas. The company has faced a number of environmental and social allegations on which we engage. Another important topic is the disclosure of the company’s environmental performance, which is a crucial step in the development of a strategy for the transition to the low-carbon environment.
  • May 22, 2018
    The missing links in responsible supply chain management
    Christine Chow
    We recently returned from the OECD’s 12th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains in Paris. The forum gave its attendees an opportunity to engage with stakeholders from miners to smelters and refiners, local communities, NGOs, government organisations from Africa’s Great Lakes region, as well as global technology, consumer and automobile companies. We have come away with several lessons, namely that a) existing due diligence processes do not address human rights issues at mines
  • April 19, 2018
    KB Financial Group
    Frédéric Bach
    KB Financial Group is a financial services holding company headquartered in South Korea. Its activities range from personal and corporate lending to insurance and asset management. Over the past few years, the company has been diversifying its revenue sources by acquiring a non-life insurance company, enhancing its asset management business and developing its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. It was one of the first conglomerate financial institutions to commit to the Korean Stewardship Code, which launched in December 2016.
  • February 8, 2018
    Raising the bar – Mind the gaps in the Equator Principles
    Christine Chow
    The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has proved to be a highly controversial project, with its impacts exceeding the wildest expectations of investors. It was accompanied by protests, court cases, accusations of political interference and even a presidential memorandum. The banks financing the project claim to have adhered to the Equator Principles[1] (EP or the Principles), a credit risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects. They have been adopted by 92 financial institutions in 37 countries, covering over 70% of project finance debt in emerging markets. An Equator Principles Financial Institution (EPFI) will require its clients – the borrowers – to conduct environmental and social impact assessments for each project.
  • December 11, 2017
    Shinhan Financial Group
    Christine Chow
    Shinhan Financial Group is a financial services holding company headquartered in South Korea. It provides consumer and corporate banking, credit card, investment and insurance services. Background Shinhan faced a series of allegations of fraud and corruption in 2010 and after accusations of embezzlement and breach of trust from prosecutors, its chair resigned. A new CEO was appointed in 2011 after the resignation of three top executives. He focused on re-building the brand and trust, concentrating on Shinhan’s commitment as a provider of what it calls compassionate finance. In 2017, another CEO was appointed, who supports the same commitment to compassionate finance through the company’s expansion in digital financial services.
  • July 5, 2017
    Infosys
    Christine Chow
    Infosys is the third-largest Indian-based IT services company and provides business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services globally. It targets businesses specialising in insurance, banking, telecommunications and manufacturing. Background In light of poor performance in 2011, the company appointed its former chair and co-founder as interim chair in 2013. With support from employees and shareholders, a new CEO was appointed in 2014. Two years later, however, the increase in the CEO’s remuneration caused concerns among shareholders. We immediately pressured the company to improve the disclosure on its remuneration, which was validated by a proxy advisory company shortly after. However, we acknowledge that global technology companies and technology service providers have lagged other sectors in terms of remuneration disclosure, particularly in relation to performance-linked pay.