Active ownership

Learn about our proxy voting

We use proxy voting to complement our engagement activities to exert extra influence on companies we engage with or to signal that some sustainability issues are important to us.

Governments and authorities

Some sustainability issues, such as climate change, cannot be solved by investors and companies alone. Therefore, we also express our views regarding these pressing challenges to governments and authorities.

Use of voting rights

The framework for using voting rights for funds managed by the Storebrand Group is set out in sections 2-24 of the Norwegian Regulations on Securities Funds and in the industry recommendations from the Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association.

The ultimate responsibility for the execution of corporate governance in the Storebrand Group’s funds lies with the Board of Directors of the respective fund management company. The daily execution is delegated to the portfolio managers of each fund, and activities are reported back to the Board. The Board annually evaluates the execution of corporate governance.

Guidelines for voting

Voting rights must be exercised to the benefit of the fund in question to secure the best possible risk-adjusted returns for unit holders. Usually, the portfolio manager assesses how to use voting rights. In all cases where we vote, the respective portfolio manager familiarises him or herself with the matters to be discussed at the general meeting and decides how to vote. Voting rights are exercised directly by the fund management company or by using a proxy voting platform. For details, see Voting Policy.

The Storebrand Group typically votes against management in the following situations:

  • Inadequate information ahead of meeting each other 
  • Quality of Board and its members
  • Anti-takeover mechanisms
  • Unnecessary or unfair changes in capital structure
  • Excessive executive compensation

Specific situations may call for individual responses, and we will always consider market and company conditions. To the extent that voting rights have been exercised in controversial cases or where the Storebrand Group has voted against the Board’s or management’s recommended course of action, the Storebrand Group will disclose the voting rationale. A vote disclosure is sent to the [company’s] Board, and our unitholders are informed via the Storebrand Group website.

Voting process

The Storebrand Group has selected Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), an independent service provider, as the platform for our proxy voting activities. ISS provides notices of general meetings and comprehensive information about the companies, the voting items on the agenda, and recommendations.

Funds managed by the Storebrand Group will vote according to our voting policy and always in what we deem to be the best interest of our funds. When we do not have a policy in place for a specific ballot item, we will typically follow the ISS recommendation. We review our relationship with ISS annually, including the quality and effectiveness of the services provided. Each fund has a custodian approved by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway. The custodian bank also provides information related to general meetings.

Securities lending

The Storebrand Group engages in stock lending but usually recalls shares so that its funds can vote for at least 50% of share ownership at a general meeting. Securities lending does not compromise our funds’ ability to focus on sustainability.

Inside information

The Storebrand Group depends on access to company information to assess any challenges related to corporate governance. It is also essential in relation to the exercise of corporate governance. The Storebrand Group believes it understands the rules regarding inside information and will always act within these laws. We similarly expect that companies and their advisors also have an awareness of relevant legislation and do not put the Storebrand Group in an insider position without our consent.

Historical returns are no guarantee of future returns. Future returns will depend, among other things, on market developments, the manager's skills, the fund's risk profile and management fees. The returns can be negative as a result of price losses. There is risk associated with investments in the fund due to market movements, developments in currency, interest rates, economic conditions, industry- and company-specific conditions. Before investing, customers are advised to familiarize themselves with the fund's key information and prospectus, which contains further information about the fund's characteristics and costs.