In 2000, we introduced our unique approach to responsible investment by launching our Responsible Engagement Overlay service, known as reo®. This differs from traditional ethical screening or a best-in-class portfolio construction methodology: it is an overlay that can be applied to any equity or corporate bond mandate, irrespective of whether the money is managed by BMO Global Asset Management. It does not interfere with the fund manager’s portfolio construction or selection – in other words, it allows fund managers the widest latitude in defining their investable universe, while addressing sustainability concerns through active dialogue and changing behaviour.
Our ultimate aim is the creation and protection of long-term capital value for investors. The objective of reo® is to use the influence that we wield through the combined equity and bond assets of all our clients to encourage investee companies to adopt better environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and changes in corporate behaviour, thereby enhancing their business performance. We believe that we can best serve our clients and enhance the value of their investments through sustained and constructive dialogue with companies, as well as the judicious and transparent use of voting rights.
Over the course of 2018 we engaged with 665 companies in 46 countries on a wide range of business issues. We voted at more than 9,900 shareholder meetings. reo® is currently applied to over £142 billion* of assets.
*as at 31.12.2018