Santander Asset Management UK is committed to the principles of good corporate governance. As agents of the owners of companies, we recognise our fiduciary obligations to exercise their rights as owners and engage with companies in a responsible way. We aim to achieve the best practice in our voting and engagement activities and to align our practices with the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Stewardship Code.
Voting and Engagement
Santander Asset Management UK regularly reviews all voting and engagement activity. Our Fund Managers actively monitor all of our investee companies and, where appropriate, will initiate meetings and discussions with company boards and management. Any identified contentious issues are discussed within the Senior Management team, including the Head of UK Investment Division and Chief Executive, with referral to our Risk and Compliance Committee.
It is our policy to vote on every resolution for all UK equities held on behalf of investors, and our quarterly voting reports explain those issues considered during the reporting period. Our voting decisions are shown in the voting report included on the website.
Our Approach to Engagement
When a report comes to our attention that causes significant concern. We initiate direct contact with the company or advisers to discuss the issue, and what remedial action is to be taken. Such contact is with the Chairman or Senior Independent Director, the chairman of a board committee and/or the company’s corporate representatives.
Where we have significant concerns, we will initiate direct contact with the Company Chairman or another senior non-executive director, as our approach is to have a direct and constructive dialogue with investee companies. Should such actions not result in a satisfactory outcome, we will consider on a case-by-case basis other approaches, including a formal written communication to the Company Secretary, additional meetings with management, collaboration with other investors and voting against relevant resolutions.
Shareholder Rights Directive
Following the publication of the Financial Conduct Authority's Policy Statement 19/13 Santander Asset Management UK is in the process of reviewing its approach and policies in relation to stewardship and engagement. Once our review is complete, any outcomes will be published on our website.