Corporate social responsibility

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There are three key elements, or pillars, of our work in CSR. The three pillars relate to our corporate responsibilities to:

  • our markets - we seek to protect client interests and operate our business with integrity and resilience
  • our people - we seek to encourage effective leadership, well-being, diversity and inclusion for our staff
  • our world - we seek to invest and act responsibly to protect the wider world and, locally, to support the community including through the sponsorship of the arts and sciences and charitable partnerships

In practice, this means we aim to:

Our markets

Achieve our goals through robust risk management and governance. We aim for forward-looking identification and assessment of potential risks considering both quantitative and qualitative impacts. Clear reporting and escalation processes to ensure that the residual risk profile of the firm is appropriate and in line with the Board's risk appetite and timely setting and regular monitoring of actions required to reduce the risk profile or improve the control environment where these are deemed appropriate.

We believe seeking to understand and mitigate systemic risks within our clients’ investments and the wider financial system is directly relevant for most of our clients, whether we are managing risk management (including liability driven investment), fixed income, or another type of strategy on their behalf.

  • Climate change

    Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Insight prioritises climate risk analysis and stewardship.

    • We support climate-focused groups that help to ameliorate risks from issuers, including inadequate disclosure, and support campaigns that promote environmental themes.
    • We participate in industry groups as part of our work managing systemic climate risks, such as the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Climate Action 100+.
    • We developed our first climate risk ratings in 2017 as a comprehensive ranking of fixed income corporate bond issuers that enabled better engagement activity with companies. In 2020, to improve understanding of the key risks that climate change poses and further develop our offering in sustainable strategies, we expanded the scope of the ratings to create two scores for each company; one for its transitional risks and one for its physical risks.
    • Our proprietary Prime climate risk ratings are generated for 1,700 corporate issuers and include data for 14 climate-related issues. Click here for more information.
    • More broadly, we believe we also have a part to play in tackling climate change. Our work in 2020 led us to become a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative in early 2021. 

  • UN Global Compact

    • In Dec 2021 Insight was accepted as a participant in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. UNGC recognises Insight’s commitment to comply with its ‘Ten Principles’ which cover the environment, human rights, labour and anti-corruption.

  • Greenwashing

    Impact bonds (also known as ‘use of proceeds’ bonds) have matured to an undeniably viable addition to portfolios. In large parts of the impact bond market there are lower levels of disclosure, which is a significant enabler of ‘greenwashing’.

    • To manage sustainability objectives for our clients, Insight analyses impact bonds using a proprietary framework.
    • Insight has engaged in wider initiatives to help combat greenwashing and develop global standards. Insight is a member investor supporting the ICMA Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles and served on the Advisory Council of the Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Executive Committee in 2019. In 2020, we responded to an International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) consultation to establish an International Sustainability Standards Board, which we believe could prove to be a significant step in the direction of standardisation of sustainability metrics and reporting.

  • COVID-19

    Insight’s activities continued through the COVID-19 pandemic without interruption. External research shows that Insight remained very highly rated for service despite the pandemic, with clients and consultants across the UK remaining strongly positive about Insight’s overall effectiveness.

    • Insight maintained contact with clients and their advisers through the pandemic, switching to virtual meeting options and communicating changes to processes as necessary.
    • Insight’s EMC implemented work from home arrangements for as many of our functions and people as possible, while maintaining critical business functions in our US and UK office. 
    • In early 2021 Insight was among 150 institutional investors who signed a joint statement calling for a fair and equitable global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Global Investor Statement initiative, led by the Access To Medicine Foundation, seeks to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to do more for people living in low- and middle-income countries.
    • Global CIO, Adrian Grey, wrote an open letter on the pandemic in April 2020 to encourage effective action in response to the pandemic. The letter included specific actions for corporates, governments, financial policymakers and regulators, and financial counterparties; it also outlined Insight’s activity in the areas highlighted by the United Nations-supported (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in response to the pandemic.

  • RPI Reform

    Insight has driven the national conversation on proposed reforms to the UK’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) – reforms which have significant detrimental implications for millions of pensioners.

    • In November 2019 we published a detailed white paper and open letter urging pension schemes, insurers, advisers and asset managers to engage with policymakers about the future consultation.
    • We launched a dedicated website, www.rpireform.com, to connect with a broader audience of stakeholders and collate news articles in a single resource.
    • Our CEO, Abdallah Nauphal, wrote to the Chancellor and the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority urging that the consultation deadline, then set for 22 April 2020, be extended given the unprecedented backdrop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline was subsequently pushed back to 21 August 2020. Our CEO also met with Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, to discuss the issue.

  • Transition from LIBOR

    Insight has played a very active role in the interest-rate benchmark reform process, which will have implications for financial markets worldwide as well as for our clients. In 2018 we were invited to join the UK Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates (RFR) Working Group as it was expanded to include a broader group of participants, including investment management firms. We will continue to be engaged in this topic until the full transition from LIBOR to a new risk free rate completes. See page 25 in our RI Annual Report.

  • EMIR and central clearing

    The introduction and implementation of central clearing for derivatives under the EMIR has significant implications, particularly for pension schemes in the UK and Europe, which account for the majority of Insight’s AUM. In collaboration with European pension scheme stakeholders, Insight has actively engaged with policymakers and regulators over these issues. See page 25 in our RI Annual Report.

 

Our people

Develop successful leaders and managers who drive high productivity and engagement within their teams while challenging ourselves and our recruitment partners to ensure we have the right initiatives in place to encourage the promotion and development of a diverse workforce. Be recognised as an employer of choice.

Insight’s employees are critical stakeholders in the business.  New joiners receive induction training and the opportunity to meet the CEO and the Head of Human Resources.  This typically takes place a few weeks after joining Insight which gives new joiners the opportunity to review how Insight does things and make suggestions of how things could be improved, which is then taken on board by HR representatives. 

Insight is a strong believer in employee development delivering a range of training programs designed to encourage employee and manager development at all levels. Our challenging environment provides the right conditions for employees to hone their skills and expertise and develop within the business.

Insight recognises that diversity of thought, talent and experience is critical to the continued success of our business, industry and society.

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion mission statement:

“In order to remain a competitive and high performing firm, Insight aims to move towards an employee profile that reflects the environments in which we operate while maintaining our culture of inclusion that maximises the talent of all our colleagues”

Diversity, equity and inclusion are strategic priorities at Insight. We believe that having a workforce that reflects the broader society in which we operate enhances the way we think, adds significant value to decision making and is the right thing to do. No gender, ethnicity, or other social group has a monopoly on good ideas and talent. When recruiting we cast the net wide to attract the very best people from the broadest demographics and backgrounds possible. Hiring diverse talent into our inclusive and collaborative culture enables us to achieve a significant competitive advantage through our people.

There are a clear set of values embedded within Insight’s culture:

  • Client Focus: Insight’s clients always come first and we combine this perspective with an environment for our employees that promotes a culture of innovation, collaboration, diversity and inclusion.
  • Accountability: We foster a strong culture of ownership, providing our staff autonomy and trust from the start, allowing them to make their own decisions that impact our business.
  • Teamwork: We create a culture of camaraderie and trust in our business. We focus on getting the right people with the right expertise and combining them in a diverse team to work together to deliver results.
  • Cognitive Agility: We are inquisitive, skilled in analysing information and forming an opinion and then we take the initiative to act.
  • Continuous Improvement: We maintain a questioning attitude and are not afraid to speak up and challenge conventional thinking or the status quo.

Click here to learn more about Insight's culture.

Click here to learn more about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Insight.

Our world

Increase access to our ESG capabilities while seeking to develop vehicles that offer broader access to our responsible investment capabilities. Support a global charity partner that has been voted for by colleagues with fundraising and volunteering. We have addressed the use of single use plastic in the office while encouraging colleagues to recycle more and reduce waste from printers.

Charity committee

The Insight Charity Committee comprises members from across the business who meet monthly to deliver events and initiatives that bring colleagues together while raising money for charities.

Charity partner: We have a relationship in place with a global charity partner, reviewed on a periodic basis that is able to fulfil the following criteria.

Global presence
    • a charity partner should have a presence in the cites in which we operate
    • this will ensure that all Insight locations are working together to support a common goal
Local engagement
    • a charity partner should provide the opportunity for colleagues to donate their time and expertise as part of a volunteering programme
    • these volunteering opportunities should be available locally to Insight office locations
Targetted fundraising
    • we are keen to see the impact of our support. A charity partner should ideally offer the ability to support specific projects or programmes
    • these can either be a series of smaller projects or an overarching programme over the term of the partnership

 

Make-a-WishOur current partner is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish grant life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses; making wishes come true for over 900 children in the UK alone last year. This is a global relationship with each of our offices supporting a local chapter. 

One of the ways in which the Charity Committee supports Make-A-Wish has been through its annual Global FIT Challenge. The initiative aims to keep Insight active by challenging colleagues to collectively ‘travel’ the 27,518 miles which separate our offices. Participants make a one-off donation and then log the miles that they walk, swim, cycle, run and workout to, sharing updates with their Insight teammates.

Matched funding and support: for employees and initiatives in scope, BNY Mellon provides dollar matching on team and individual fundraising projects and volunteering events. Employees are entitled to two paid volunteer days each year which can be used for our charity partner or for an organisation of their choice.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we wish to offer our support and thanks to all the front-line workers. We have made a donation to support Insight’s UK event catering partners, Rocket Food, in providing meals for key workers in the NHS. As part of the #FuelforNHSHeroes’ campaign, Rocket staff are volunteering to run this service. We have also made a donation to the New York Chapter of Frontline Foods. This charity provides funding to local restaurants to support their efforts to provide healthy meals to the frontline workers leading the response to the pandemic. 

Environmental initiatives

The case for clean air: We work with local authorities on investment strategy for their pension schemes and treasury activities, and on how they incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in their approach to fixed income, including money markets. In 2021, to support Global Action Plan’s efforts with UK local authorities to help tackle air pollution, we partnered on a paper The case for clean air: how local authorities can lead the clean air revolution to support their work with UK local authorities on tackling air pollution. The paper discussed the latest research and viewpoints from academics and scientists and sought to encourage discussion on how key issues for local authorities such as air pollution relate into ESG considerations when making investment policy and strategy decisions.

Moving to environmentally friendly printing: In 2019, we moved to environmentally friendly print production in all locations, including renewable and 100% recyclable card covers and paper sustainably sourced from FSC certified suppliers. It is acid-free, with cotton based fibres to minimise environmental impact and low carbon steel, PET coated wire binding. PET, a non-toxic material used in the food packaging industry, passes all safety and environmental guidelines. Notes have been added on our website to discourage printing of pdfs.  

Carbon neutral flights: Insight has a travel policy and centralised booking process for flights to ensure that all travel undertaken by employees is approved as business critical. To offset the impact of business air travel that we do undertake we partner with ‘Trees for Cities’ and make a donation based on travel costs in order to carbon-offset through a tree planting programme. The annual donation was maintained in 2020 despite COVID related travel restrictions being in place. BNY Mellon, our parent company, also seeks to offset travel costs, ensuring that our offset exceeds the required amount. 

Reducing plastics in our offices: over the course of 2019, we remodelled our kitchen areas in London removing single use plastic items and rolling out keep cups and water flasks to staff globally. In New York, meeting suite visitors are now offered water from glass bottles (which has always been the case in London).

Supporting public awareness of the sciences

We have been supporting the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize since 2016. The prize celebrates accessible and popular science writing. In 2021, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by biologist and debut author Merlin Sheldrake became the competition’s 34th winner. Other winners in recent years include Dr Camilla Pang (‘Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us About Life, Love and Relationships), Caroline Criado Perez (Invisible Women), Cordelia Fine (Testosterone Rex). Andrea Wolf (Invention of Nature) and Gaia Vince (Adventures in the Anthropocene).

We are very proud to work in partnership with the Royal Academy as the lead sponsor of its Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show. 2021 was our 15th year as sponsor and the 253rd consecutive year in which the RA has mounted the Summer Exhibition. In 2021 the Royal Academy received over 15,000 entries, of which around 1200 works, in a range of media, were put on display. This open, inclusive and democratic show supports the artistic community, art education and provides a display of creativity and joy for the public. 

Tackling impersonation fraud

It is a sad fact that criminals frequently succeed in defrauding investors by masquerading as authorised investment firms. Fraudsters misuse our brand, recreate our materials and impersonate our people to deceive investors into sharing identity documents and remitting funds to their accounts. Impersonation fraud is a global concern and we have seen attempts to misuse our brand originate from multiple geographies.

        • Insight is therefore very active in identifying and reporting attempts to misuse our name as well as doing what is possible to close fraudulent email domains and websites down.
        • As a responsible member of the investment community, we also work to raise awareness of the threat of fraud.
        • Insight has controls established around all shared contact emails to ensure incoming fraud enquiries are logged and that investors receive timely responses confirming that the contact made to the investor is not us.
        • We encourage investors who are concerned that they have been contacted by fraudsters to report to the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) and to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre. We also ask them to tell us about it directly, in as much detail as they can, via fraud@insightinvestment.com.
        • More broadly, we advise that it is also worth discussing fraud risks with your family and friends and the more vulnerable members of our society in particular. The following sites have good resources for advice on avoiding investment and pension scams: Action FraudFCA ScamSmart and Which? Consumer Rights.
        • A letter to the Prime Minister: In May 2021 our CEO Abdallah Nauphal wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to raise our concern that the Online Safety Bill had deliberately excluded action to tackle online investment fraud facilitated through advertising, emails and cloned websites. We firmly believe this growing problem can only be properly addressed through urgent government action and targeted legislation, focused on increasing the accountability of search engines for the content they host. In the letter we gave our view that the scale of the problem is significantly greater due to victims being unwilling to report fraud or being unaware that they have been defrauded. The lack of enforcement against these scams leads us to expect the situation to deteriorate.

        • Enhanced brand protection services to prevent fraud: In 2019 we enhanced our ability to challenge online frauds targeting the general public and Insight contacts by adding an online brand protection service to identify groups seeking to use Insight’s trademarks and identity to mislead contacts and commit financial fraud. Several fraudulent enterprises have been identified and shut down and ongoing monitoring of the digital landscape has been enhanced as an early warning system.

        • Insight places great importance on the integrity of its information processing and has a low appetite for information risk. As well as its own operational requirements, Insight commits to protecting clients’ information and individual privacy to the highest standards. The Information Security Management System (ISMS) operates in a governance structure which is visible and accessible to the firm’s senior management. To provide assurance to clients, regulators and others that management of these priorities is aligned with the best modern practice, with the appetite of the firm, and the needs of stakeholders, Insight has chosen to obtain and maintain public certification of compliance with the relevant standards, obtaining and retaining certification to ISO 27001 (Information Security) since 2008, and ISO 22301 (Business Continuity) since 2012.

CSR Report

BNY Mellon use their resources and expertise to create positive social impact. Explore their stories and outcomes across four global trends within their CSR report which Insight contributes to.

Contact us

Please contact Sarah Hale

+44 (0)20 7321 1311

Click here to email Sarah Hale