Shareholders Rights Directive

Our approach to stewardship and engagement

We expect our chosen asset managers to look after our customers’ money responsibly and engage with companies they invest in. We’ll also step in whenever we feel our customers’ needs are not being properly considered.

Read our full guide:

Our approach to stewardship and engagement

Investing Responsibly

At Royal London Ireland we are committed to being a Responsible Investor.  Our aim is to generate good returns for our customers, whilst also making a positive contribution to society and the environment.

Climate change is at the forefront of a long list of global problems.  In line with the Royal London Group, we are committed to achieving Net Zero across our investment portfolio by 2050.  Working towards that goal, we aim to ensure that our investments and those that we offer our customers will over time have less carbon emissions, without impacting on the returns they generate. 

The European Union (Shareholders’ Rights) Regulations 2020 (“Regulations”) encourages long-term shareholder engagement by institutional investors, including life assurance companies, where they invest (directly or indirectly) in the securities of EU companies listed on regulated EU markets. The Regulations are aimed at ensuring that decisions are made for the long-term stability of a company and take into account environmental and social issues.

Under the Regulations, we must develop and publish a policy on shareholder engagement. Our investment strategy is prudent and is currently confined to cash/cash equivalent and high-grade Eurozone Corporate bonds via collective investment undertakings.  We do not invest directly into equities, but we offer our customers that have unit-linked policies the ability to invest in collective investment funds that contain equities.

Engagement Policy

Aligned with our Purpose to protect today and invest in tomorrow, we place environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at the heart of our investment decisions. We are committed to working with our asset managers to ensure that responsible investment principles are integrated into the investment approach for the funds offered for customer investment, in a way that influences businesses to adopt good behaviour and achieve positive climate impacts.  The Royal London Group supports and champions a ‘Just Transition’: ensuring climate action supports an inclusive economy, is socially responsible and avoids exacerbating existing injustices or creating new ones.  Our Engagement Policy (link to the policy to be included – see Section 3) is aligned with the Royal London Group’s Engagement Policy.

We offer equity investments through funds that are managed by Royal London Asset Management (“RLAM”), our sister company, and by BlackRock.  When our customers select one of these funds, we buy units in collective investment schemes that are managed by one of these firms.  We don’t hold equities directly and therefore we don’t have voting rights or other direct liaison points with investee companies. However, the asset managers we have chosen have their own engagement policies that explain how they are integrating ESG matters into their investment approach and how they manage their interaction with the firms in which they invest.  We also share our Engagement Policy with our asset managers and ask them to meet the principles of our policy, or explain why they cannot do so, and monitor their activities with respect to responsible investment.

Blackrock Investment Stewardship

BlackRock Shareholder Rights Directive II 

Royal London Asset Management Governance and voting

Royal London Asset Management Engagement and advocacy

Investment Strategy

Our investment strategy is prudent and is currently confined to cash/cash equivalent and high-grade Eurozone Corporate bonds via collective investment undertakings. 

Our indirect equity investments relate to our unit-linked business.  Any investments that form part of our unit-linked assets match the funds into which our policyholders are invested, with some small additional amounts held to facilitate timely transactions and to limit costs. 

Through our unit-linked business, policyholders can invest in a number of funds, some of which include equities.  As referenced in the Engagement Policy section, we don’t hold direct investments into equities, but rather buy units in collective investment schemes that are managed by our chosen asset managers.