Responsible Investment Policy


CONTEXT

In the performance of its activities, FERIQUE Fund Management 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 Fund Management has adopted sound business practices for responsible investment. As economic development factors for the years to come, they may enable FERIQUE Fund Management to act on business opportunities created by rapidly changing global structural trends;  
  • FERIQUE Fund Management has adopted a specific policy to oversee the exercise of its proxy voting rights and to emphasize dialogue with its investee companies and other stakeholders. As an institutional investor, FERIQUE Fund Management is generally not involved in the operations of such businesses, but tries to influence their behaviour over the long term; and  
  • FERIQUE Fund Management 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 and its subsidiary, FERIQUE Investment Services 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 Fund Management to incorporate responsible investment considerations into its fund management, taking into account the asset classes in which it invests.  

With this Policy, FERIQUE Fund Management 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 Fund Management'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 Fund Management believes that consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors contributes to complete, integrated management of all investment-related risks;

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

  • FERIQUE Fund Management has adopted an approach that emphasizes dialogue and collaboration with management teams and other stakeholers concerning responsible investment issues;

  • FERIQUE Fund Management 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 Fund Management has developed a flexible framework that suits all its clients in the performance of its mission;
  • FERIQUE Fund Management 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 Fund Management may support measures that enable minority shareholders to submit certain resolutions to shareholders’ meetings;

  • FERIQUE Fund Management emphasizes the exercise of voting rights and engagement as an important response to support measures that improve the practices of an industry or of the investment sector;
  • FERIQUE Fund Management acknowledges the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that climate change is real and human activities are the main cause:
    – FERIQUE Fund Management wishes to contribute to the fight against climate change, in particular through the reduction of carbon emissions in the world economy in a process of just transition.

RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT APPROACH

FERIQUE Fund Management'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 Fund Management 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 at the following link: /-/media/Documents/Investissement-responsable/Politique-de-droits-de-vote_2018.pdf?la=fr.

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:

  • Communicate with the leaders of the targeted company (calls, letters)
  • Register a shareholder proposal

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

In order to effectively manage its engagement efforts, FERIQUE Fund Management has adopted a shareholder engagement procedure which defines the objectives by considering the materiality, the horizon, the efforts to deploy, the chances of success and the risks.

3. INCLUSION OF ESG CRITERIA IN INVESTMENT ANALYSIS AND DECISION MAKING.

In a collaborative manner, FERIQUE Fund Management supports the inclusion of ESG criteria into its managers’ traditional financial analysis process. FERIQUE Fund Management 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. 

Consequently, Gestion FÉRIQUE promotes the hiring of managers who fully integrate ESG factors into their investment strategy. In order to formalize the responsible investment approach of its managers, Gestion FÉRIQUE requests that a description of their philosophy regarding the integration of ESG criteria be included in their respective investment policies.

Gestion FÉRIQUE also assesses the risks related to ESG issues of managers' investment strategies using ESG classifications or any other measures related to extrafinancial risks and discusses these risks with managers on a regular basis.

4. FILTERS

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


APPLICATION

This Policy applies to all the FERIQUE Funds. Even so, the practices and methods used for 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:

  • Monitoring market trends and legal and regulatory changes (annual);
  • Shareholder engagement proposals and subjects to be considered for the year to come (every two years);
  • Proxy Voting Policy and principles (every two years);
  • Communication pertaining to FERIQUE Fund Management's responsible investment practices (annually).

REPORTING and communication

  • Gestion FÉRIQUE recognizes the importance of the reporting and the transparent communication of its responsible investment activities:

  • Detailed activity reports on responsible investing are provided to the Investment Monitoring Committee on a regular basis.
     o   The Investment Monitoring Committee must report to the Board of Directors on an annual basis on responsible investment activities;

  • A summary report on responsible investing is provided annually to clients via 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. 
      

ROLE OF STAKEHOLDERS

1. INVESTMENT MONITORING COMMITTEE

The role of FERIQUE Fund Management's Investment Monitoring Committee is to examine and approve the Responsible Investment Policy, as prepared and recommended by management. It shall also report to the Board of Directors on an annual basis on responsible investment activities.

The Committee shall also review specific matters, such as:

  • key themes concerning FERIQUE Fund Management's shareholder engagement;
  • the broad outlines of the Proxy Voting Policy;
  • the broad outlines of the strategy against climate change;
  • the managers’ approach to inclusion of ESG criteria and the monitoring made by the management.

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 Fund Management's mission is respected; and
  • the proxy voting process, the shareholder's engagement and ESG integration are carried out under the FERIQUE Fund Management policy and that decisions are made in accordance with the guidelines provided by the members of the Board of Directors.

2. VICE PRESIDENCY - INVESTMENTS

The Vice Presidency 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's procedure. It shall also ensure that the policies, procedures and strategies are applied. This work is, among others, supported by the expertise of organizations specializing in the various aspects of responsible investment.

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


Download the Responsible Investment Policy (pdf)