When you save in funds from SEB Investment Management, which is one of the largest asset managers in the Nordic region, you become an indirect owner in many companies. We use the trust you have instilled in us to manage your money by taking positions for important sustainability issues related to the environment and social responsibility, for example. Most importantly, we believe that companies that take a structured approach to this will be more successful over the long term and will thereby generate higher returns over time, which would benefit you as a saver in our funds.
“We vote at several hundred general meetings every year; during the 2021-2022 AGM season we voted at nearly 600. We are therefore very happy that we have now launched this dashboard, most of all for our fund unit holders, whose mandates we in fact use to vote. It is important for us to be transparent in order to create a greater understanding for our work as an active owner,” says Alfred Askeljung, who works on SEB Investment Management’s sustainability team and was involved in creating the dashboard.
The dashboard shows how the fund company voted at every specific general meeting and how it voted for various proposals. You can also see at an aggregated level which companies the fund company voted at and on which issues.
“It is important to emphasise that the dashboard only shows how SEB Investment Management voted by proxy. At many general meetings, especially in Sweden, we participate either in person or online,” Askeljung says
The fund company does not always vote in favour of proposals recommended by the boards at general meetings. The dashboard shows that in 12 per cent of cases, SEB Investment Management voted against the board’s recommendation.
“General meetings are one of our most important tools for conducting active ownership and highlighting sustainability issues such as the environment, biodiversity and clean water. General meetings are one of several ways in which we pursue our agenda, so it is important that we immerse ourselves in matters and can form an opinion about how we will vote on issues the arise. We either do this work ourselves or we seek assistance from our partners. No matter the process, as a fund company we always stand for our final positions,” Askeljung says.