At Metropolis Capital we believe that companies can be a major force for good in the world. This good can arise partly from the direct supply of high quality products and services at market beating prices and partly from positive externalities which companies can generate. We are also aware, however, that companies can generate negative externalities which do not immediately fall onto a company or its shareholders. These can be environmental, for example pollution from a factory or broader greenhouse gas emissions. They can also be social, for example, encouraging reckless gambling or borrowing can cause severe problems for individuals, their families and society more widely.
We are uncomfortable investing in companies which generate substantial negative externalities because we believe that ultimately regulators and society will force such companies and their shareholders to pay for the burdens they are offloading. This creates a downside risk which, given potential punitive fines for historical abuses, becomes very difficult to value. Compliance with current laws is not sufficient because we believe that ultimately laws and regulations will be changed to ensure company shareholders pay the bill for negative outputs.
We only invest in companies with good business practices because this gives us confidence that their cashflows are truly sustainable. A necessary condition for the sustainability of future cashflows is strong corporate governance and a management culture mindful of its wider responsibilities. Our Responsible Investment approach is exclusively focused on a single global equity strategy which we have managed on the same responsible investment basis since 2008. It is characterised by low turnover and long holding periods. It invests in a small number of companies (15-25) which we know and understand well and where we believe management understand the risks and opportunities that social and environmental factors, including long-term climate change, present to their business.
The checklist which supports our quality assessment ensures that we systematically evaluate the activities of each business and the behaviour of management in terms of our Responsible Investment priorities. We enhance our own research with ESG data provided by third parties. We monitor our investments closely, vote thoughtfully and engage regularly with our portfolio companies to ensure they take on board our views. We report on our engagement activities to our clients.
Our ESG and Responsible Investment practices are integrated into our process in exactly the same way as other aspects of our other investment analysis.
Metropolis Capital became a member of the PRI on 1 June 2020 to further its commitment to including environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decision making and ownership. Metropolis Capital expects to commence public reporting for the calendar year 2021.
Responsible Investment & Engagement Policy
The EU Shareholder Rights Directive (‘SRD’) took effect on 10 June 2019. This directive aims to promote effective stewardship and long term investment decision making.
Metropolis Capital’s Responsible Investment & Engagement Policy has been created in response to the Shareholder’s Rights Directive. Please find the policy on the link below:
Metropolis Capital is a signatory of the UK Stewardship Code 2020. Please follow the link below to the disclosure document below.