Ethos and Raiffeisen announced today an extension of their collaboration in the field of active ownership. Ethos will now also conduct shareholder dialogue on ESG issues to Swiss and international companies on behalf of Raiffeisen Switzerland. This new collaboration is part of Ethos' commitment to broaden its engagement services to other categories of investors in addition to pension funds and public benefit foundations.
Ethos is delighted with this new collaboration, which will increase its impact on companies during its dialogue activities and strengthen its resources to maintain a high-quality standard. Shareholder dialogue is an essential element in promoting best practices in corporate governance and environmental and social responsibility. It is the first step in the fiduciary duty of institutional investors in the exercise of their social rights. Shareholder dialogue is highly complementary to the exercise of voting rights and allows influencing portfolio companies to have a positive impact on the real economy.
Ethos has been providing engagement services to asset owners such as pension funds, public benefit foundations and similar institutional investors since 2004 through the Ethos Engagement Pool Switzerland, which now has over 150 members. This dialogue has been extended to international companies since 2017 with the launch of the Ethos Engagement Pool International.
Expansion of Ethos' offer to asset managers
In order to meet the strong demand from asset managers for engagement services, Ethos has decided, in parallel to the engagement pools whose membership conditions remain unchanged, to offer such type of services to other investors. Without being a member of the engagement pools, asset managers and retail banks can still benefit from Ethos' expertise and from the many possible synergies between the engagement activities carried out through the engagement pools.
Raiffeisen has been relying on the experience and recommendations of Ethos for more than ten years now and is already working with Ethos on the exercise of voting rights. This collaboration is now being extended to engagement.
“We are very pleased to be able to count Raiffeisen among the first clients of our engagement services since we opened them to banks and asset managers last year says Vincent Kaufmann, Director of Ethos. This demonstrates the bank's objective to have a positive influence on the companies included in its investment funds to encourage them to improve their environmental, social and governance practices. This will allow Ethos to further increase its leverage with companies.”
“We are convinced that responsible and forward-looking action pays off for companies and investors alike and we see it as our responsibility to work towards positive changes in sustainability through active dialogue with companies. We are pleased to be able to count on Ethos, a renowned and experienced Swiss partner”, says Roland Altwegg, Head of Products & Investment Services and Member of the Executive Board of Raiffeisen Switzerland.