Responsible Investment Policy FERIQUE Fund Management

CONTEXT


In the performance of its activities, FERIQUE Fund Management (“FERIQUE”) is guided by its mission and values.

Responsible investment is a rapidly evolving area and represents a significant change within the financial community. As a result:
  • FERIQUE has adopted sound business practices for responsible investment. As economic development factors for the years to come, they may enable FERIQUE to act on business opportunities created by rapidly changing global structural trends;  
  • FERIQUE has adopted a specific policy to oversee the exercise of its proxy voting rights and to emphasize dialogue with its investee companies. As an institutional investor, FERIQUE is generally not involved in the operations of such businesses, but tries to influence their behaviour over the long term; and  
  • FERIQUE believes that the social responsibility of a business has to be one of its investment criteria, without constituting the sole basis for an investment.

MISSION

"FERIQUE Fund Management’s mission is to contribute to the financial health of Canadian engineers, their businesses and their families. 

The personalized advisory services, financial planning and mutual funds offered by FERIQUE Fund Management are distributed to all eligible participants in an innovative and user-friendly manner.  

Each FERIQUE Fund aims to outperform the median return of its universe of comparable funds, with a reasonable level of risk and management fees that are among the most competitive in the industry.  

FERIQUE Fund Management is guided by integrity and social responsibility in everything it does."

OBJECTIVES OF THE POLICY

The purpose of this Policy is to define a clear, flexible framework enabling FERIQUE to incorporate responsible investment considerations into its fund management, taking into account the markets where it invests.  

With this Policy, FERIQUE intends to make a credible, effective contribution to improving the social balance sheets of businesses, with achievement of the target returns and risk limits of the FERIQUE Funds being its first objective.


FOUNDATIONS OF THE POLICY

  • FERIQUE’s first function is to manage funds whose objective is to outperform the median return of their universe of comparable funds with a reasonable risk level and management fees that are among the most competitive in the industry.

  • FERIQUE believes that consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors contributes to complete, integrated management of all investment-related risks;

  • FERIQUE believes that businesses that manages these factors proactively enhance their long-term performance;

  • FERIQUE has adopted an approach that emphasizes dialogue with management teams concerning responsible investment issues;

  • FERIQUE believes that it is important that businesses disclose ESG information because such disclosure makes it possible to analyze, compare and evaluate these aspects of businesses;

  • FERIQUE has developed a flexible framework that suits all its clients in the performance of its mission;

  • FERIQUE wants to ensure that, in the performance of their activities, its investee companies: 
    – adopt the best governance practices;
    – respect the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in laws and regulations, and prohibit any discrimination; 
    – respect workers’ rights, take the necessary measures to guarantee a healthy and safe work environment, and prohibit any type of abuse; 
    – take the necessary measures to respect and protect the environment where their activities take place; and 
    – respect the communities where they carry out their activities and promote their development;
  • FERIQUE may support measures that enable minority shareholders to submit certain resolutions to shareholders’ meetings;

  • FERIQUE may support measures that improve the practices of an industry or of the investment sector;

  • FERIQUE emphasizes the exercise of voting rights as an important response under its Proxy Voting Policy. 

RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT APPROACH

FERIQUE’s approach to responsible investment is based on the following components: exercise of voting rights, shareholder engagement and inclusion of ESG criteria in investment analysis and decision making.

1. Exercise of proxy voting rights 

Our Policy is based on three general principles:

  • Long-term profitability
    The purpose of proxy voting is to contribute to the management of a business so as to promote its long-term profitability, rather than short-term share-price appreciation.

  • Accountability
    The board of directors of a business is accountable to its shareholders, just as management is accountable to the directors. Corporate rules and practices must be conducive to such accountability.

  • Transparency
    Information on businesses must be accessible to permit an evaluation of them. Businesses must also have sound audit practices.

This Policy therefore enables FERIQUE to reconcile two fundamental objectives: to actively encourage businesses to adopt more responsible behaviour and to protect the assets of its clients over the long term. The Proxy Voting Policy and reports are available on the FERIQUE website.

2. Shareholder engagement

Shareholder engagement is based on a responsible investment strategy whose objective is to actively influence portfolio companies so that they improve their ESG practices.

It involves several types of initiatives, the main ones being:

  • Communiquer avec les dirigeants de l’entreprise ciblée (appels, lettres)
  • Enregistrer une proposition d’actionnaire

Such initiatives can be carried out individually or in cooperation with other stakeholders.

3. Inclusion of ESG criteria in investment analysis and decision making.

In a collaborative manner, FERIQUE supports the inclusion of ESG criteria into its managers’ traditional financial analysis process. FERIQUE believes that this practice enables managers to develop a fuller picture of a business and to consider a more complete range of investment risks as well as all the opportunities associated with such criteria.

4. Filters

In line with the selected approach, namely to influence businesses in which funds are invested, FERIQUE does not impose a filter on its managers.


APPLICATION

This Policy applies to all the FERIQUE Funds. Even so, the practices and methods used for total or partial inclusion of ESG criteria may vary from one asset class to another depending on the manager, the nature of the investment, the type of instrument and the portfolio’s investment strategy.


UPDATE

The following responsible investment practices are reviewed on a regular basis at the intervals specified:

  • The following responsible investment practices are reviewed on a regular basis at the intervals specified;
  • Shareholder engagement proposals and subjects to be considered for the year to come (annually);
  • Proxy Voting Policy and principles (every three years);
  • Communication pertaining to FERIQUE’s responsible investment practices (annually).

REPORTING 

  • Shareholder engagement initiatives are communicated to clients on the website;
  • A proxy voting report is provided to clients each quarter on the website;
  • A PRI survey is carried out annually and the results are posted on the website.

COMMUNICATION

Within the limitations of the competitive financial context in which it operates and the specific characteristics of each investment, FERIQUE regularly communicates its responsible investment activities to its clients on the website.


ROLE OF STAKEHOLDERS 

1. Board of Directors  

The role of FERIQUE’s Board of Directors is to approve the Responsible Investment Policy as recommended by the Investment Monitoring Committee.

2. Investment Monitoring Committee 

The role of FERIQUE’s Investment Monitoring Committee is to review and recommend to the Board the Responsible Investment Policy, as prepared by management.

The Committee shall also review specific matters, such as:

  • key themes concerning FERIQUE’s shareholder engagement;
  • the broad outlines of the Proxy Voting Policy; and
  • the managers’ approach to inclusion of ESG criteria.

Moreover, its role is to ensure that all the mechanisms required for implementation of the Responsible Investment Policy have been put in place and are effective. Among other things, it shall ensure that:

  • FERIQUE’s mission is respected; and
  • the proxy voting process is carried out under the FERIQUE policy and that decisions are made in accordance with the guidelines provided by the members of the Board of Directors.

3. FERIQUE management

Management shall define the broad outlines of this Policy as well as the policy setting out the principles governing the exercise of proxy voting rights and shareholder engagement. It shall also ensure that the policies and procedures are applied.

Within this framework, it shall take FERIQUE’s mission into account when the Policy is revised.


Download the Responsible Investment Policy (pdf document)