Standard Life Investments

Principle 7 - How we report on stewardship to our clients

We recognise the importance of being accountable to our clients and their advisers on stewardship and voting activities. We aim to provide transparency on our stewardship activities through our regular client reports and other information reported publicly online.

Our segregated pension fund clients receive quarterly reports detailing how we have voted their shares and, upon request, we provide our clients with customised reports on our engagement activities. On occasion, our engagement with investee companies may relate to matters which are confidential and disclosure of our engagement activity may be counterproductive or harm our clients' best interests. In such exceptional circumstances, confidentiality is paramount to achieving the stewardship objective and therefore, the engagement is not reported to our clients until it is appropriate to do so.

In addition to the reports described above, we provide full transparency of our voting activity on our website which is available publicly. We also publish an annual review of our governance and stewardship activities, which provides an account of how we have fulfilled our stewardship responsibilities. The latest Annual Review can be found here.

We also produce an ESG Investment Quarterly report and White Papers on topical environmental and social issues, which include examples of research and engagement.

Under the UK Stewardship Code asset managers are encouraged, but not required, to have their stewardship statements independently verified. For a number of years both Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments successfully obtained appropriate independent assurance over the policies and procedures which underpin each asset manager’s stewardship policy statements.

Subsequent to the August 2017 merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life, significant progress has been made with integrating the policies and procedures of the two asset managers. However, that process has not yet completed, and we believe that this situation adds a layer of complexity to any verification activity and could potentially lead to confusion for our clients and potential clients. On this basis, we have decided to forego the verification of our 2017-2018 stewardship statements and instead focus on having everything in place for verification of a combined stewardship statement issued by the two asset managers under the Aberdeen Standard Investments brand for the year beginning October 2018.