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Our views 02 June 2020

Checking your thinking – the importance of independent oversight

By Mike Fox, Head of Sustainable Investments

5 min read

Mike Fox, Head of Sustainable Investments at Royal London Asset Management, explains the importance of an external advisory committee

Fund managers tend to get the limelight, yet we wouldn’t achieve much without the support of a team of bright, talented and multi-disciplinary people. George Crowdy (co-manager of the recently-launched RL Global Sustainable Equity Fund) and I work closely with the wider responsible investment team, which helps us to look at sustainability issues, corporate governance and building the long-term engagement that encourages positive corporate behaviour thereby aiming to enhance investment returns.

The team has a very flat, collaborative structure in which everyone has an equal vote as to whether a company is eligible for our funds. Managers need to be challenged and ‘group think’, even if unintentional, is disastrous in any decisionmaking process. So diversity of opinion is not just encouraged, but actually required.

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