NN Group’s first Active Ownership Report shows commitment to responsible investment
With its first Active Ownership Report, asset owner NN Group shows its commitment to responsible investment. The report highlights NN’s active ownership approach using engagement, proxy voting and policy advocacy. The publication shows the steps NN has taken up until now, and how NN will continue.
NN Group (NN) firmly believes that active ownership is an effective way to stimulate corporate change. Dailah Nihot, Member of the Management Board of NN Group: ‘We are committed to investing our assets responsibly and promoting sustainable growth. Active ownership is a key part of NN Group’s responsible investment approach. By exercising voting rights and engaging in dialogue with the companies we invest in, we aim to foster sustainable business practices. Our belief is that this approach will enhance the long-term value of companies and ultimately benefits all our stakeholders.’
After the sale of its asset manager in 2021, NN has developed its own active ownership approach. NN expanded the Responsible Investment team and added dedicated resources to the active ownership function. The company now actively participates in various industry initiatives and collaborative engagements, and also partnered with an external stewardship services provider.
‘Our first Active Ownership Report provides an overview of our active ownership activities for listed equities and corporate fixed income. We show how we have leveraged our voting rights to further our ambitions as a responsible investor and highlight select outcomes from our engagement programme. As a financial services company, we have a responsibility to advocate for policies that align with our values and promote long-term sustainable growth. The report covers some examples of these policy advocacy efforts.’
Exercising voting rights is one of the most effective ways for investors to hold company management accountable. In the first half year of 2023, NN voted on 586 items at 43 annual general meetings. We hold the view that company management should base their decisions on the long-term interests of the company and its shareholders while acting responsibly towards all stakeholders. Our voting activities were focused on three issues: board elections, alignment of executive remuneration with company strategy, and integration of sustainability within company strategy. NN prioritises these issues as crucial factors for the long-term success and stability of companies.
NN Group strongly believes in using engagement to create beneficial change by encouraging companies to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. Divestment is a last resort as it limits our ability to influence sustainability issues. We prefer an engagement-led divestment approach, restricting companies when engagement is infeasible or unlikely to result in change. Instead, we tailor our engagement strategies for themes and companies using a range of direct and collaborative approaches.