The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry outlined the need for change in the finance sector. It is imperative that we keep building on the momentum generated by the Royal Commission. This is an opportunity for businesses, boards and governments to rebuild trust with Australians and adopt long-term sustainable practices, underpinned by the responsible management of assets. Strengthening the framework for investment stewardship is an essential component.
While there are some variations in definitions, stewardship generally involves active oversight by asset owners and asset managers of the assets in which they invest. Stewardship activities include monitoring assets and service providers, engaging with issuers and holding them to account on material issues, voting and publicly reporting on the outcomes of these activities.
Our members consider that long-term, sustainable investment is underpinned by ESG principles. We regard good stewardship and effective fulfillment of ESG principles as complementary. This policy outlines proposals to strengthen investment stewardship by making it more consistent, which we will advocate for on behalf of our members and investors. Stronger investment stewardship will support the quality and integrity of our financial markets and contribute to sustainable long-term value creation for beneficiaries.