Stewart Investors are long-term investors striving to make investment decisions with a minimum five-year time horizon. They seek to invest only in good quality companies. Quality is measured through the lenses of quality of management, financials and the franchise. By analysing the sustainability performance and positioning of companies they can better measure less-tangible elements of quality and identify hidden risks.
We seek to invest only in good quality companies. Quality is measured through the lenses of quality of management, financials and the franchise. By analysing the sustainability performance and positioning of companies we can better measure less-tangible elements of quality and identify hidden risks.
We are long-term investors. We strive to make investment decisions with a minimum five-year time horizon.
We have an absolute return mind-set. That is, we define risk as losing money for our clients, rather than in terms of deviation from any benchmark index. We focus as much on the potential downside of our investment decisions as on the anticipated upside. The identification of long-term sustainability risks thus becomes an extremely important way of managing risk. In addition, our willingness to differ substantially from index weightings, both country and company, means we are not obliged to be invested anywhere where we have particular sustainability concerns. We also recognise there is no such thing as a perfect company.
We are active owners and stewards of the companies we own. While there is no formal negative screening, we do not anticipate that companies operating in high risk sectors will be natural candidates in terms of their long-term sustainability positioning. Examples of such sectors include gambling and tobacco.
The emphasis is very much on our own team of analysts to identify and analyse companies, and sustainable development and investment issues.
The primary source of sustainable development related information is one-on-one meetings with senior management. We undertake approximately 1300 such meetings each year across Stewart Investors. We are particularly interested in companies which embrace the underlying spirit of sustainable development, rather than simply taking a compliance driven, box-ticking approach. Assessing the attitude of senior management is therefore crucial. We augment internal research with the use of external research. The purchase of a share comes with both rights and responsibilities. Should one of our companies fail to meet international best practices on the environment, human rights or social issues, we believe we have a responsibility, as part owners of the business, to engage with senior management to persuade them to address the issue, rather than to immediately walk away from the problem.