BMO has been a market leader in ethically screened equity and fixed income solutions for institutional investors for over three decades. Fund managers work closely with BMO’s expert Governance & Sustainable Investment (GSI) team and for our Responsible Funds, a responsible investment advisory council, to identify companies for inclusion in the universe of acceptable investments. BMO also offers a Responsible Sharia Global Equity Fund, which benefits from an additional layer of screening provided by specialist Islamic Scholars.
BMO has been at the forefront of responsible investment ever since launching Europe’s first ethically-screened fund in 1984. In the past 30 years, we have developed responsible investment into a core capability. Starting as a single innovative equity fund, BMO’s responsible investment solutions now include a range of funds across asset classes, a comprehensive global engagement and voting service for institutional investors, and the integration of ESG factors across our investment business. We believe that consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues enhances investment analysis and underpins long-term returns. Through engagement and voting, we actively use our influence as an investor to encourage companies to improve, and to promote a more sustainable financial system.
Successfully implementing responsible investment strategies takes specialist knowledge and resource. Three layers of expertise provide the foundations on which our related products are built. Dedicated team – our thirteen strong GSI team is entirely focused on research, engagement and voting. The team’s activities are structured in a way that ensures breadth and depth of coverage, with expertise spanning ESG issues and geographies.Fund management – as well as their asset class-specific expertise, our investment teams bring extensive knowledge of the particular considerations involved in the management of responsible investment funds.Responsible Investment Advisory Council – an independent body comprised of individuals drawn from a range of relevant backgrounds. They provide advice and guidance particularly with regards to the ethical principles and criteria applied to our screened funds.
Find out more about our ethical equity and fixed income products which can include pooled vehicles, mutual funds and segregated accounts.
reo® is a global engagement and proxy voting service that can be applied across equities and corporate credit. Through reo® we aim to enhance investor value by encouraging the adoption and development of industry best practice. We believe we can best serve our clients and protect the long-term value of their investments through sustained and constructive dialogue with companies and active voting. reo® is an engagement overlay service and does not impact on portfolio construction. It can be applied to the portfolios of institutional investors who do not use BMO for asset management services. Our approach to engagement is focused on delivering outcomes, called milestones, and we seek to drive changes in corporate behaviour, policy and practice to create long-term business performance. We have been mandated to engage and/or vote on behalf of investment institutions whose assets, include equities and corporate bonds.
BMO has been a leader in the provision of engagement services since 2000 when we launched our responsible engagement overlay 'reo®' service.
What is reo®?
reo® is a global engagement and proxy voting service. We believe that we can serve our clients and protect the long-term value of their investments through sustained and constructive dialogue with companies and considered voting.
Through reo® we aim to protect and enhance investor value by encouraging the adoption and development of industry best practice. We play an active role in public policy development as we believe that policy and regulatory developments are often catalysts for improved corporate behaviour. Our approach to engagement is focused on outcomes and we seek to drive changes in corporate behaviour to enhance business performance.
reo® at work
reo® offers engagement on a range of environmental, social and governance themes:
In 2016, BMO engaged on behalf of reo® clients with over 768 companies, and voted more than 91,182 resolutions at 8,996 meetings across 52 countries.reo® clients receive regular reporting on the progress of engagement with companies, as well as confidential research reports on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Clients can choose an engagement-only service, or can mandate us to undertake engagement and voting, in which case they will also receive regular portfolio-specific voting reports.
We are active investors and seek to have a positive impact on corporate governance standards through constructive engagement with company management and the voting of shares.
Through our global engagement and proxy voting service reo®, we serve our clients and protect the long-term value of their investments through constructive dialogue with companies and considered voting.
We aim to protect and enhance investor value by encouraging the adoption and development of industry best practice. Our approach to engagement is focused on promoting high standards of governance, and, where necessary driving change in corporate behaviour to enhance business performance.
Exercising your voting rights is central to good governance. For those clients employing our voting services, BMO's policy is to vote on all company meetings for companies held their portfolios. We engage with companies before and after company shareholder meetings to discuss our expectations, invite comment and to explain the reasons for votes against management.
Our voting decisions are made on the basis of detailed in-house corporate governance guidelines and we publish quarterly voting reports on our website.
View our voting records
Find out more about our responsible investment products.
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