Schroders voted against the remuneration policies of several well-known companies in the second quarter of 2018 as it stepped up its aggression on pay, bonuses and board independence.
The asset manager voted on 121 ESG-related shareholder resolutions during the three-month period, taking a no-nonsense stance on the remuneration policies at major brands including video streaming service Netflix and luxury goods group Hermes International.
In June, it voted against the re-election of board members at high-end luxury goods group Hermes International amid concerns that pay was “highly discretionary in nature” and that there was a “lack of independence of the board.”
The fund firm also voted against the management of Netflix, when the digital streaming service sought to ratify the compensation of named executive officers.
In its voting record of the month, the fund firm said it felt it was wrong that the named executive officers “set the form in which their pay is delivered” given that there are “no long-term performance targets attached to stock,” which the fund firm considered unusual.
Separately, the asset manager said corporate engagement in the second quarter of 2018 was focussed on companies in the consumer discretionary and financial sector, as the fund group responded to growing market concerns around plastics and climate change.
The fund firm’s Sustainable Investment Report for the second quarter shows that Schroders’ staff spent 22% of their time between April and June 2018 engaging with companies in the Consumer Discretionary sector, 20% with financial groups, 17% with Consumer Staples, 11% with Industrials and 9% with energy companies.
The company said it engaged with 215 companies during the quarter on either environmental, social or governance-based issues and six companies on issues relating to all three ESG factors.
Companies that Schroders engaged with on all three elements of ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’, were Dalata Hotel Group, Intercontinental Hotels, Britvic, Danaher Corporation, Norsk Hydro and South 32.
Schroders has been invited to offer additional comment on the reports by ESG Clarity.