Section 172 statement
Under section 414 of the UK 2006 Companies Act (the “Act”), the Company is required to include a section 172 statement, describing how the directors have had regard to the matters set out in section 172 of the Act when performing their duties during the period in question. In addressing these matters, the Board would like to expand on the following:
Insight's mission is to bring to investors an alternative approach to solving their investment problems, one that aims to improve their experience and increase their confidence in achieving their objectives. Our method emphasises the certainty of achieving investment outcomes, in contrast to the traditional focus on maximising return and minimising volatility on a pool of assets. Managing assetsdirectly to clients' desired outcome also allows us to increase the probability of success, relative to what can be achieved, by investing in generic products (that benefit the manager rather than the investor).
We are committed to prioritising our clients' interests above all else in the conduct of our business and to delivering high quality investment solutions and service. Our business model rests on asimple equation: high quality leads to client advocacy which translates into business success.We, therefore, focus our efforts on delivering quality and are always prepared to forego business opportunities that conflict or weaken our ability to do so.
Focusing only on what we are good at rather than being everything for everyone is a key requirement for achieving that, so is working in partnership with our clients and their advisors. This allows us to better understand their needs and provide them with the tools and professional education they need for their investment journey. We also pledge to engage with relevant official and regulatory bodies to represent their interest and help find solutions that balance their benefits with those of society at large.
Aligning all stakeholders' interests is essential for the long-term success of any organisation. We align the interests of our clients and shareholders by taking along-term view of the successof the business, allowing us to focus our energies on delivering to our clients. A significant portion of our staff's compensation is deferred and held in company Long Term Incentive Plans. By giving our employees an economic stake in the business we help align their interest with those of the other stakeholders.
None of this would be possible without the ability to attract and motivate the right employees. We do not believe that any gender, race, or group of any kind has amonopoly on the talent that we need to succeed. We also believe that diverse groups make more informed and balanced decisions. We are therefore committed to looking for talent everywhere and ensuring that every individual has the opportunity and support to succeed at Insight.
We strive to create an ego free and collaborative environment where everyone is held accountable, but success is shared collectively. An environment where employees can speak up to share their views or challenge the views of others. We encourage continuous improvement at the individual level as well as the business level and make it apoint to learn from our mistakes. Much of this boils down to putting the principle of "doing the right thing" at the heart of all our decisions.
The examples provided below show positive outcomes following consideration by the Insight Board of matters set out in section 172 of the Act during 2020.
The investment consultancy Greenwich Associates undertakes research with UK institutional clients and Investment Consultants each year. In the 2020 edition of this research, Insight was named a winner of the 2020 Greenwich Quality Leaders for ‘Overall UK Institutional Investment Management Service Quality’, having achieved a high score based on positive citations from 100 UK institutional clients. This was the fourth year in a row that Insight featured as a leader in UK client service, having now won in 2020, 2019 and 2017 and being highly commended in 2018. Insight was also rated as the top LDI provider for the tenth year in a row and as the second highest provider of fixed income investments.
Insight also continues to be pro-active in representing client’s interest with policymakers, regulators, trade associations and other industry forums. The European Commission, the UK Treasury and the BoE were just some of the bodies Insight has engaged with during the period in question. Throughout the year, Insight was also very active in helping clients understand the impact of the changes to RPI proposed by the government.
Throughout 2020, there were multiple initiatives to push for greater diversity, addressing education for culture, development, selection and leadership. In 2020 Insight piloted an external cross-sector mentoring scheme for senior female leaders, committed to the Women in Finance Charter, worked with our parent company BNY Mellon, to support the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector and ran a ‘Women at Insight’ programme which supports the development and advancement of female talent across the firm.
Insight also conducted a series of workshops with a number of minority groups to better understand the challenges they face and help them to overcome them. This has culminated in the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion committee that will report to the EMC.
Impact on the Community and Environment
The activities of Insight’s ESG working groups and CSR Group were embedded into the business as usual practices with participation of employees from across the business. A new ESG steering Group Chaired by the CEO was created to coordinate the activities of these various streams and set policy.
Insight also continues to support its chosen charity partner, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, by way of maintaining a global relationship, with each of Insight’s offices supporting a local chapter. In addition to this, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Insight opted to show its support for the NHS by making a donation to Insight’s UK event catering partner which provides meals for key workers in the NHS. A similar initiative was also executed in the US, also in support of frontline workers.
Separately, Insight’s parent company, BNY Mellon earned a position on the Climate Change ‘A List’ by CPD for the eighth year in a row in recognition of its efforts to cutting emissions, mitigating climate risks and developing the low carbon economy, all of which Insight is adopting.
Insight is a wholly owned subsidiary within the BNY Mellon group governed by its Board. It maintains an open relationship with BNY Mellon, where ideas and strategic objectives are exchanged and shared, ensuring the Board members remain aligned with the strategic objectives and corporate values of its shareholder whenever appropriate. Across all decisions, the Insight Board is fully committed at the same time to ensuring due regard to the interest of other stakeholders as described above.