How does responsible investing benefit you?

Responsible investing has a positive impact on both society and our customers and members. Chief Investment Officer, Piers Hillier, and Head of Responsible Investing, Ashley Hamilton Claxton, explain why

CAPTION: As a business, we’re determined to invest responsibly for the benefit of society as a whole.

PIERS HILLIER: I’m Piers Hillier. I’m the Chief Investment Officer at RLAM [Royal London Asset Management] and I’m responsible for managing the investment teams across the RLAM business.

ASHLEY HAMILTON CLAXTON: My name is Ashley Hamilton Claxton.  I’m Head of Responsible Investment here at Royal London Asset Management, and what I do is I help our investment managers invest members’ money in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

CAPTION: We make sure the companies we invest in are having a positive impact on society.

PIERS: So ultimately companies are key employers and for us, from our perspective as investors, our job in some ways is to encourage companies to work in a constructive way with society and to be responsible in terms of how they act with society as a whole. 

ASHLEY: So many of the companies that we invest in provide your everyday services to our members and our customers. So, for example, companies that develop lifesaving drugs, companies that deliver healthcare service. So it’s really important that when we’re investing our money that we’re considering how those companies are impacting the environment or society.

CAPTION: We encourage companies to work in a responsible way and promote good governance.

PIERS: As companies become more responsible, actually they tend to provide better outcomes in terms of their financial results and often better returns for us as investors as a whole. 

ASHLEY: We work with companies to try to encourage them to operate in a responsible way. So we’ll engage with the Board and we’ll engage with management about things like Board structure, having a robust audit, not paying the executives excessively, or making sure that the pay is structured appropriately. Now why is governance important? Well it’s important because good governance protects members’ money ultimately.  If things go wrong, we want the Board there to make sure that they can steward that company through change or any financial challenges that they have.

CAPTION: Acting in a responsible way results in better outcomes for our members.

PIERS: How do I provide the best outcome for you as members? Is really delivering great investment returns. But part of that, we believe, is actually by thinking and acting in a responsible way that by utilising the skills of our investment teams and applying them with an environmental, social, governance lens, actually provides better outcomes for you as members.  Now it’s not always the case that that will be so, and so what we want to try and do is actually engage with our investments and make sure that actually we’re providing better overall outcomes. 

ASHLEY: It’s critical that Royal London protects its member’s interests, so we’re protecting our pension savers’ and our life insurance customers’ money – this is number one. And this is one of the things that we do through being a responsible investor. It’s really critical that their capital is there to draw on when they’re ready to take their pension or take out their life insurance. Being a responsible investor ensures that we are protecting our customers’ capital and ultimately going to be there over the long term.

CAPTION: All of this work helps improve business, society and the environment to give people a better future.

PIERS:I think we give people a better future by coming back to what we do best, which is effectively allocating capital and doing it in a way that will provide better outcomes to you. Now our thinking is that actually if we allocate capital effectively, what we’re doing in some ways is actually making sure that the planet is a better place, the environment that we’re in is a better place, the social backdrop is better, the governance of companies is better, and so those criteria in some ways we think will give you a better future and better outcomes from our investments.

CAPTION: If you need any help when it comes to your investments, an impartial financial adviser can provide guidance based on your requirements.