AustSafe Super has a number of policies, charters, strategies and plans that assist the Board to guide its own and also Management’s approach to managing and operating the Fund.
Proxy voting policy
AustSafe Super takes a strong interest in the corporate governance practices within the organisations in and through which it invests members’ funds. In this regard, AustSafe Super has developed a policy in connection with the voting of its proxies. This policy seeks to ensure all investment managers have a written, board-approved policy on the exercising of proxy votes and formal internal procedures to ensure the policy is applied consistently.
We recognise that as a shareholder of numerous companies listed on stock exchanges throughout the world, including the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), we have a responsibility on behalf of our members to participate in the corporate governance issues of the companies in which we have investments.
The authority and responsibility for exercising AustSafe Super’s proxy votes has been delegated to its investment managers. AustSafe Super requires its investment managers to actively participate in the proxy voting process, particularly where they believe that corporate actions are being proposed that are not in the best interests of members. The voting of proxies represents one aspect of AustSafe Super’s involvement in the governance processes of these companies.
While the investment managers will retain autonomy for exercising proxy votes, from time to time they may be subject to AustSafe Super’s influence. When considering its proxy voting in the best interests of members, AustSafe Super will take into account:
- The views of its investment manager
- The recommendation of the entity’s directors not associated with the resolution
- The unique circumstances facing the entity
- Any independent expert’s report, and
- Opinions of others relevant to the issue.
The exercise of proxy votes by investment managers is monitored by AustSafe Super both through an electronic proxy monitoring and a formal reporting system to ensure the manager is properly discharging its share voting responsibilities and fulfilling its duty to AustSafe Super and that AustSafe Super has satisfied its fiduciary duty.
Conflicts management policy
The identification and management of actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest is an important responsibility that AustSafe Super takes very seriously. The proper management of conflicts is important in protecting our members’ interests, our image and our reputation. Generally, a conflict of interest occurs when the personal interests or activities (financial or otherwise) of a Director, officer or employee conflicts with their official responsibilities, interferes with the interests of AustSafe Super, and potentially influences the exercise of their independent judgment in the performance of one or more duties.
AustSafe Super's Code of Conduct (including its Conflicts of Interests Management Procedure) requires Directors, officers and employees to identify, avoid where possible, disclose and manage any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest so that no stakeholder achieves an improper advantage which might cause detriment to the members of the fund.
A Register of Relevant Duties is maintained and a copy can be accessed here.
Click here to review AustSafe Super’s Register of Relevant Interests.