investment viewpoints

Stewardship in 2023: pushing for ambitious action

Stewardship in 2023: pushing for ambitious action
Rebeca Coriat - Head of Stewardship

Rebeca Coriat

Head of Stewardship
Anouchka Miquel - Stewardship Analyst

Anouchka Miquel

Stewardship Analyst
Natalia Galvan Dorado - Stewardship Analyst

Natalia Galvan Dorado

Stewardship Analyst

The following is an overview of our stewardship work in 2023. These efforts support LOIM’s long-held view that there is a need to go beyond standard ESG metrics: we focus on forward-looking assessments of the alignment of companies’ business models with the sustainability transition. 

Need to know:

  • Decarbonisation remained a key focus for LOIM’s stewardship activities in 2023, although nature and biodiversity engagement increased markedly 
  • Directors’ accountability and a wide variety of shareholder resolutions were the key focus in proxy voting in 2023 
  • This overview includes an outline of the collaborative initiatives we participated in during the year, with both companies and policy makers    


Moving toward more sustainable models

As an active asset manager, LOIM undertakes stewardship through engagement and proxy voting.  Our two stewardship objectives are:

  • to promote alignment with the sustainability transition
  • to promote sustainable returns1

Sustainability faced significant obstacles in 2023 because of opposing trends. On one hand, companies faced more granular and varied sustainability demands from investors across asset classes. On the other hand, a growing anti-ESG movement increasingly questioned the financial value of such initiatives. 

In our view, sustainability and its related investment stewardship activities are going through a metamorphosis – a transition to impacting long-term performance and value creation. 

"Key themes from 2023 – and rolling into 2024 - include a retreat from oil and gas, and a parallel transformation of the energy system and clean tech. They also include a spotlight on food systems and nature-positive investments. Stewardship plays a vital role in supporting these transitions"

 — Rebeca Coriat, LOIM Head of Stewardship

The stewardship data below provide a high-level quantitative view of the engagement and proxy voting work we undertook during the year. 

Engagement in 2023

Through engagement, we maintain continuous and constructive dialogue with a company throughout the investment lifecycle, and across different asset classes.  To focus our efforts and align with our sustainability research teams’ vision, we carry out engagements in line with stewardship priorities revised on an annual basis. These are outlined in Figure 1.

FIG 1. Priorities in 20233

Thematic Engagements Decarbonisation

Natural capital

Fossil fuels

Roadmap engagements on system changes (Energy, Land & Oceans, Materials and Carbon)

Cross-cutting engagements Improving disclosures/ESG ratings

Harmful companies4

Controversy management


Thematic Campaigns (e.g., Cyber Security)

Source: Lombard Odier Investment Managers, data as of December 2023. For illustrative purposes only. 

We carried out 155 engagements with 145 companies2 during the year, as shown in Figure 2. We have recently prioritised conducting more in-depth engagements to heighten their impact, even if that results in fewer of them overall.  

Most of our activity in 2023 pertained to the themes of net zero and natural capital. Nature and biodiversity engagements also increased significantly, driven by the introduction of global initiatives like the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and the collaborative effort known as Nature Action 100. 

FIG 2. Number of engagements

Source: LOIM, data as of December 2023. For illustrative purposes only.

Businesses face growing policy, consumer and competitor pressure to reduce harm to nature. They must also prepare for greater regulatory demands to report on their nature-related activities and risks, with the TNFD aiming to emulate the success of its climate-focused predecessor, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).  The future success of a business will increasingly be linked directly to its ability to restore and harness the regenerative power of nature, in our view. 


"Businesses must proactively address the calls to reduce harm to nature,
while also preparing for stricter regulations that demand transparent reporting on nature-related activities and risk”

— Anouchka Miquel, Stewardship Analyst 

As Figure 3 shows, engagement themes overlapped significantly across sectors (although our deforestation engagement, for example, was focused purely on the food, beverage and tobacco industries).  A key takeaway is the interconnectedness of sustainability-related themes, as our own research and vision reflect, as well as the importance of strong and transparent disclosures and appropriate corporate governance setups. 

FIG 3. 2023 breakdown of engagements by main issue and sector

Source: LOIM, data as of December 2023. For illustrative purposes only. 

Collaborative engagements 

LOIM participates in several collaborative initiatives. Through those engagements, we address material issues and leverage the power of joint investor action. The campaigns we participate in are carefully selected to ensure alignment with LOIM stewardship priorities.

In 2023, we participated and actively engaged companies through the following:

Climate Action 100+ 

Targets the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters. Ongoing participation in four company-specific collaborative engagement groups

CDP’s Non-Disclosure campaign 

Encourages companies to respond to its disclosure requests (climate change, deforestation and water security). In addition to supporting the overall campaign with our AuM, we were either leads or co-leads with regard to nine companies

CDP’s SBTi initiative

Drives the world’s highest-impact companies to set science-based targets. Participation via AuM direct support

Rathbones-led initiative – Modern Slavery

Targets FTSE 350 companies that are failing to comply with Section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015). Direct support via AuM, as well as co-signing several letters 


Builds awareness of the most material risks and opportunities in the food sector. We participated in the protein  diversification and the manure management engagement campaign

IIGCC Net Zero Engagement  Initiative 

Builds on and extends the reach of investor engagement beyond the Climate Action 100+ focus list. We joined in 2023, signed letters to 19 different companies across sectors and took the engagement lead with five companies on the list

Nature Action 100

A global investor engagement initiative aiming to drive greater corporate action on restoring nature and biodiversity. We joined in 2023 and are participating in three company engagements  

UN PRI Advance

A PRI-led collaborative initiative where institutional investors seek to advance human rights and positive outcomes for people through investor stewardship. We joined in 2023 as endorsers

Investor Alliance for Human Rights

A collaborative initiative with institutional investors requesting companies in the automotive sector to address the matter of Uyghur forced labour in their supply chains. We joined in 2023 and specifically engaged with four different automotive companies: one engagement as co-leads and the other three as supporting investors

Investor Initiative on Hazardous Chemicals

Targets the world’s most polluting chemical companies . We continued to support the initiative via AuM direct support

Source: LOIM, data as of December 2023. For illustrative purposes only. 

FIG 4. 2023 Engagements: Regional breakdown, status and outcomes of closed engagements

Source: LOIM, data as of December 2023. For illustrative purposes only.

Proxy voting in 2023

By exercising proxy voting rights, we can express our views on critical matters affecting our investee companies, as well as the companies’ impact on societies and the environment. We exercise our voting rights according to our  Proxy Voting Guidelines.

"A more complex and nuanced voting landscape emerged
in our voting activities during 2023, reflecting the ever-growing sophistication of sustainability demands and voting policies”

— Natalia Galvan Dorado, LOIM Stewardship Analyst

One key trend is that whilst the number of shareholder proposals increased from the previous year (2022), overall support decreased. Why? We attribute it to proposals becoming more prescriptive and narrower, even seeking strategy change. Increased engagement with companies has also lessened the need for some proposals. A second important trend is that board members continue to be held directly responsible for weakness in corporate governance, as well as for sustainability-related strategy and risks.

Last year, LOIM reviewed, analysed and instructed votes at 2,414 shareholder meetings – including more than 30,000 voting items across 53 different markets.

As figures 5 shows, during 2023 we cast at least one vote against, withhold or abstain at 62% of the meetings, with about 84% of votes cast in support of the resolutions.

FIG 5. Votes: breakdown on a per-meeting basis, per-resolution basis5 and region

Source: LOIM, data as of December 2023. For illustrative purposes only. 

Figure 6 shows that most of our 'against' votes related to the (re)election of directors (54% of all votes against). This category links to the leadership pillar in our proxy guidelines, which we see as the cornerstone for effective governance structures, and also for facilitating and promoting a successful sustainability transition.

FIG 6. Breakdown of votes against

Source: LOIM, data as of December 2023. For illustrative purposes only.

Our stewardship activities take place under the guidance of the LOIM Stewardship Committee and are supported by our policy framework. The framework describes stewardship priorities and implementation approaches (stewardship statement, engagement policy, corporate governance principles and proxy voting guidelines and proxy voting policy). 

To learn more about our stewardship practices, our stewardship statement, engagement policy, proxy policy and voting guidelines, see Our stewardship framework I Lombard Odier



1 We refer to returns where companies are likely to perform better financially in an environmentally aligned scenario, compared to consensus. We assess market tipping points linked to emerging regulation, cost-down curves, and the pricing in of environmental externalities. Based on this analysis, we aim to describe, quantitatively or qualitatively, total addressable market (TAM) potential. Where companies are exposed to TAMs that are likely materially in excess of market consensus, we consider such companies to be exposed to sustainability returns. Although we believe there are investable opportunities related to these transitions, there can therefore be no guarantee of excess performance.
2 According to our engagement methodology, we define an engagement as the sum of all interactions with one company on one specific theme. As such, a company can be the subject of different engagements.
3 We define engagements priorities linked to the stewardship objectives and LOIM’s commitments. They are reviewed on an annual basis. 
4 The LO sustainability assessment framework defines harmful companies as companies with material exposure to activities harmful in nature, including activities related to the mining of thermal coal, the generation of power using coal, the extraction or refining of oil and gas, along with selected other activities, where such companies lack a credible phaseout strategy for those activities or include companies with exposure to high level controversies or other harmful aspects.
5 Percentages reflect rounding 

important information.

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