Shareholder dialogue is a necessary tool for any long-term investor guided by the concept of sustainable development. It aims to encourage companies to improve their environmental, social and governance practices.
By joining together in engagement pools such as the ones proposed by Ethos, and by taking part in collective engagement initiatives, investors have greater clout and therefore greater power of influence when it comes to exchanging views with the management bodies of the companies of which they are co-owners. To be as effective as possible, shareholder dialogue must be combined with other measures of active ownership, starting with the exercise of voting rights.
For Ethos, the objective of shareholder dialogue, which is generally discreet and constructive, is always to sustainably increase the value of the company for its shareholders and all its stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, civil society). To this end, Ethos offers various engagement services.
Ethos Engagement Pool (EEP) Switzerland
The EEP Switzerland was launched in 2004 to initiate a dialogue on ESG issues with the 150 largest listed companies in Switzerland.
The engagement topics are reviewed and validated each year by the members of the pool. The dialogue, which is conducted on behalf of the members and their investments, takes place throughout the year, both before and after the general meeting season. It provides Ethos analysts with an excellent knowledge of Swiss listed companies.
Membership of the pool is reserved for tax-exempt Swiss pension funds and institutions, and is financed by the members on the basis of their holdings in Swiss equities. The members of the EEP Switzerland represent approximately 2% of the SPI capitalisation.
Ethos Engagement Pool (EEP) International
The EEP International was launched in 2017 to enable institutional investors, in particular Swiss pension funds, to come together to engage in a dialogue with companies listed outside Switzerland on ESG themes.
The companies with which EEP International engages are included in the MSCI World ex-CH and MSCI World Emerging Markets Top 250 indices. Where a specific theme is of particular relevance, dialogue may also take place with selected companies outside these indices.
Dialogue with companies is conducted either directly or through collective engagement initiatives. Pool members benefit from an international network of institutional investors and investor groups with which Ethos has worked closely for many years. They also benefit from ESG research on international companies through a dedicated electronic access.
Membership of the pool is reserved for tax-exempt Swiss pension funds and institutions, and financing is provided by its members according to their holdings of international equities.
Engagement services for asset managers and banks meet growing private demand for sustainable investment solutions.
Since 2022, Ethos has been offering its shareholder dialogue services to other investors, who are able to benefit from Ethos' expertise and possible synergies with the activities carried out by the two engagement pools.
Interested asset managers and retail banks can choose between three different engagement universes: Swiss large caps, Swiss small and mid caps, and Swiss and foreign large caps.
Ethos also provides a detailed annual report on the engagement activities carried out, as well as individual access to the electronic platform, which allows to monitor the progress and evolution of the chosen engagements.