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Responsible stewardship

Latest news: An open letter to the Chair of Royal Dutch Shell

After a long engagement with Royal Dutch Shell, we wrote an open letter to the Chair explaining our decision to sell our shares in the business for our clients following our Climate Active strategy. We also urged the Directors to rethink their capital deployment plans in order to demonstrably align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The letter was initially endorsed by the following clients: The University of Leeds; St Hugh's College, Oxford; Earthwatch Europe; The Actors' Children's Trust; The Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ; The Frank Jackson Foundation; The Royal College of Radiologists; Barrow Cadbury Trust; The Cameron Fund; Hackney Parochial Charities; Milton Keynes Parks Trust Limited; The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; and West Hackney Parochial Charity.

Since we sent it, the letter has been additionally endorsed by: BMA Charities; The Congregation of Jesus.

Read the letter

At Sarasin & Partners, we consider ourselves stewards of our clients’ assets.

  • We are long-term in our approach to investment; we look for businesses that will create enduring value for our clients; and we aim to own - as opposed to trade - these companies
  • We seek out and support exceptional executive teams, but hold them to account where we have concerns
  • We are not preoccupied with short-term market movements, but look at underlying financial performance and its sustainability

Taking a long-term view in our investment process

As long-term investors we believe it is critical to take a holistic view of the underlying financial performance of a company and its sustainability: as we look a decade ahead, the impact of a company on the environment and society matters in our evaluation of its investment prospects. We also consider very carefully the potential impact of a wide variety of trends ranging from climate change to labour conditions and resource scarcity as an integral part of our thematic investment approach.

Active engagement with companies

Investors in companies have an important shared responsibility in holding the board and company executives to account for the performance of the business. On behalf of our clients we closely monitor investee companies and engage with management on issues of concern relating to corporate governance, capital structure and strategy. We carefully vote on matters put to shareholders. Poor governance can adversely affect the returns for investors and – equally – good stewardship can lead to better returns.

Read more about active engagement and voting

Policy outreach

Responsible stewardship does not stop with our stock selection and engagement activities. Where we believe we can play a positive role in shaping markets and regulation in a way that contributes to boosting sustainable economic growth, we will engage in policy outreach. We undertake much of our policy work in collaboration with other investors.

Read more about our policy outreach.

UN Principles for Responsible Investment

We are signatories to the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment, and are pleased to report that we have been graded A for our stewardship approach.

UNPRI Assessment 2019

For more detail, please see the in-depth reports:

Stewardship excellence recognised

The FRC have recognised the quality of our approach to stewardship, placing us in their Tier 1 category of asset managers.

See the full list
Sarasin & Partners Climate Pledge

We are committed to supporting the Paris Climate Accord through aligning our own business with it, through the stewardship of our investee companies, and through our policy outreach.


Read our pledge

Embracing the UN Sustainable Development Goals Discover our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in this video.