Canada's Largest Socially Responsible Mutual Fund Family Releases
30-company Corporate Engagement Focus List
TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - NEI Ethical Funds has released its 2014
Corporate Engagement Focus List, outlining plans to engage in
intensive, respectful dialogue with more than 30 companies over the
coming year to reduce portfolio risk and help build long term
sustainable value for corporate stakeholders - including shareholders.
Through environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis, NEI
Ethical Funds will focus on the following key themes:
GETTING REAL ABOUT THE ENERGY TRANSITION: NEI Ethical Funds will be asking companies on both sides of the energy
equation - suppliers and consumers of carbon-based fuels - to intensify
efforts to reduce emissions and to participate constructively in the
debate about Canada's future energy system.
TOWARDS RESPONSIBLE RESOURCE EXTRACTION: Extractive industries can benefit communities, but can also exacerbate
poverty, corruption and conflict - creating a more challenging
operating environment. NEI Ethical Funds will continue to support
extractive industry revenue transparency, and to ensure benefits are
shared. NEI Ethical Funds will also continue to urge companies to
fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights, worker safety,
and community viability.
FOOD FROM FARM TO FORK: Sustainable food production and human health are foundations for
strong economies. NEI Ethical Funds will continue to focus on
environmental and social risk in the food supply chain and begin to
explore the role of consumer companies in ensuring everyone has access
to a healthy diet.
PAYING A FAIR SHARE: Economies can't thrive unless governments have the resources to provide
education, healthcare and infrastructure. We will renew our focus on
the role of companies in preventing tax base erosion.
STAKEHOLDER APPROACH TO EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: Too much focus on short-term financial indicators threatens the
long-term value of companies for all stakeholders, including
shareholders. NEI Ethical Funds will continue to ask for pay to be
linked to performance on key environmental, social and governance
indicators, as well as asking companies to explore ways to curb
escalation in top executive compensation.
BOARD DIVERSITY MATTERS: Research suggests that an independent board of directors with diverse
perspectives contributes to corporate performance - while entrenched
boards that encourage group-think may do the opposite. NEI Ethical
Funds will continue to encourage companies to increase board diversity.
"Contrary to popular thought, US hedge fund activists did not introduce
the idea of shareholders influencing corporate policy and performance,"
said Robert Walker, Vice President at NEI Investments and Ethical
Funds. "For more than 15 years, NEI Ethical Funds has been encouraging
good companies to become better by addressing key environmental, social
and governance challenges. Our approach is more 'Canadian' in that we
frame ESG issues in ways that link to our shared interest in driving
long term sustainable value for all corporate stakeholders - including
The full NEI Ethical Funds 2014 Focus List for corporate engagement can
be downloaded from the NEI Ethical Funds website here:
NEI Ethical Funds 2014 Focus List
For reference, the latest update to the 2013 Focus List for corporate
engagement can be downloaded here:
NEI Ethical Funds 2013 Focus List September Update
To discover more on Socially Responsible Investing, see this short
Ethical Funds - Make Money. Make A Difference
ABOUT NEI INVESTMENTS
NEI Investments is a national investment firm with approximately $5.5
billion in assets under management. It offers Canadian retail investors
unique access to top independent money managers through high quality
investment solutions in two fund families, NEI Ethical Funds and NEI
Northwest Funds. Its products provide investors with a full range of
investment management styles as well as conventional and socially
responsible investment choices.
NEI Investments is 50% owned by the Provincial Credit Union Centrals and
50% by Desjardins Group, united in their focus to strengthen and serve
the cooperative financial movement across Canada. This backing of
experience and resources allows NEI Investments to actively support
business growth in these networks as well as independent advisor
NEI Investments has offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
SOURCE: NEI Investments
For further information:
MAVERICK Public Relations
416.640.5525 ext. 253