Martin Currie Becomes One of the First Asset Managers to Commit to Korea’s Stewardship Code
Martin Currie, an active equity specialist with a long history of investing in Asia and emerging markets, has become one of the first asset managers* to declare its commitment to Korea’s Stewardship Code.
Since Asia’s financial crisis in 1997, organisations within Korea have been working to improve corporate governance and transparency within chaebol (family-led conglomerates) and other listed companies. Improvements to date can be attributed to a combination of factors, most importantly, ownership changes and deep institutional reforms including strengthening of minority rights and greater representation of outside directors. However, more recent events in Korea have kept corporate governance and stewardship high on the agenda.
In 2016, the Korea Corporate Governance Service (KCGS) established the Korea Stewardship Code. It sets out seven principles that institutional investors, which hold shares of publicly listed companies in Korea, should follow in order to fulfil their fiduciary duties, responsibly managing the assets entrusted by others.
The KCGS expect the code to revitalise Korea’s capital markets via active participation of institutional investors, supporting long-term growth of investee companies as well as the development of the capital markets and the overall economy.
Martin Currie’s Head of Stewardship and ESG, David Sheasby, comments:
'Thanks to the work of the KCGS and initiatives such as the stewardship code, corporate governance and transparency in Korea has already started to improve. We are experiencing growing interest from both our Korean clients and investee companies on corporate governance best practice, and so it is timely to show our commitment to the new Korea Stewardship Code as one of its first signatories.’
At Martin Currie, stewardship refers to how it manages and protects its clients’ assets by monitoring investee companies. This includes engaging with company management on strategy, performance, governance, capital structure and risk management. In adherence to the Korea code, it applies its approach to all companies that it invests in.
*23 asset manager participants as at 31 October 2018. Source: Korea Corporate Governance Service
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Notes to editors
Martin Currie is an active equity specialist, crafting high-conviction portfolios for client-focused solutions. Investment excellence is at the heart of our business. Central to this philosophy is a stock-driven approach, based on in-depth fundamental research, active ownership of companies and skilled portfolio construction. As an affiliate of Legg Mason, we also have the backing of one of the world’s largest asset management firms.
This information is issued and approved by Martin Currie Investment Management Limited (‘MCIM’). It does not constitute investment advice. The information has been compiled with considerable care to ensure its accuracy. But no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made to its accuracy or completeness. Martin Currie has procured any research or analysis contained for its own use. Any opinions expressed are subject to change without notice.
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