Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investment Policy Statement
ION Asset Management (“ION”) is an asset management firm based in Israel. Founded in 2006, ION manages funds across multiple asset classes including hedge funds, managed accounts and mutual fund advisory. We conduct proprietary in-house research in order to deliver superior results to our investors.
We are committed to conducting ourselves in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards and take responsibility for what we do. This is reflected in our core values which include integrity and accountability.
ION’s commitment to responsible investing across Environmental Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues revolves around our fiduciary duty to represent our investors interest responsibly. We believe that investing in the 21st century comes with a responsibility to make sure our funds are directed into businesses that benefit global society.
The purpose of the ESG policy is to enhance the long-term performance of our funds. As we invest on our clients’ behalf, we recognize that incorporating relevant ESG factors should be part of a robust investment process. We recognize that ESG factors are increasingly essential inputs when evaluating global economies, markets, industries and business models. Material ESG factors are important considerations when evaluating long-term investment opportunities and risks. Material ESG factors may include but are not limited to:
climate change risks
shifting consumer preferences
talent management or misconduct
We are committed to encourage corporations to be leaders on sustainability through better long-term stewardship of human, natural and financial resources.
To achieve this, ION has established Principles for responsible investing that are based on the premise that ESG issues can impact the performance of investment portfolios, and therefore, ION should give these issues appropriate consideration.
ION commits itself to the following Principles:
To incorporate ESG issues into our investment analysis and decision-making processes.
To incorporate ESG issues into our policies and practices.
To seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues from the companies we invest in.
To promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles both inside and outside of the company.
To report on our activities, when requested, and progress towards implementing ESG across the company.
Integrating ESG factors into the investment evaluation process does not mean that ESG information is the sole consideration for an investment decision. Instead, portfolio managers and analysts evaluate a variety of financial and non-financial factors, which include ESG considerations, to make investment decisions. By increasing the information assessed, ION believes that we can generate a more holistic view of an investment. This in turn will hopefully generate opportunities to enhance returns and reduce risk for our investors.
The consideration of ESG issues currently takes place within our investment process as part of the fundamental research driving which companies to invest in. Portfolio managers and analysts are best placed to determine the importance of such factors in relation to a specific company or sector. Analysts will provide essential insights into industry trends and company-specific considerations integrating ESG factors into their final investment thesis. A key part of the analysis will be assessing the company against the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards as set out in their ‘Engagement Guide’ which can be found here. These insights and considerations play a part in the investment decision making process.
It should be noted that ION’s focus is not limited to companies that rate highly according to third-party research providers, but rather companies that are demonstrating a commitment to improvement. ION encourages companies to always strive to do better in ESG related areas.
ION commits appropriate resources to ensuring that its business adhere to high ESG standards through the following ways:
Portfolio managers will provide strategic direction in relation to ESG initiatives and procedures.
Portfolio managers are responsible for considering ESG issues when performing due diligence on investment opportunities.
Analysts will include ESG issues in their investment analysis.
The Compliance Officer also acts as the designated ESG officer who is responsible for promoting and coordinating best practice within the firm.
The ION compliance manual outlines the general guidelines for proxy voting. However, portfolio managers have the discretion to determine the best course of action to maximize shareholder value in accordance with our fiduciary duty. Proxies and shareholder proposals of an environmental, social, or governance nature are reviewed carefully. Final vote execution is based on the best economic interests of our investors.