Marathon has created a Sustainability Charter; a leadership statement in which Portfolio Managers commit to consider Environmental, Social and Governance issues at all stages of the investment process. The charter encompasses Marathon’s approach to investing, engagement and proxy voting - in which sustainability is considered in the context of adding value for clients over the long-term. The Sustainability Charter can be viewed here.
Following the creation of the Charter, Marathon has published a Sustainability Report, which seeks to provide both a high-level explanation of how Marathon conceives of the issue philosophically and examples of its application in practice. The report can be found here.
Environmental, Social and Governance
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues have a greater bearing on the long-term outcome than they do over the next 6-12 months, the typical investor time-frame. Marathon investors aim to consider all material issues and weigh them against what is reflected in the current market price of a stock. It is important to note that portfolio managers integrate assessment of ESG within their overall analysis of stocks, rather than treating it as a stand-alone issue in making investment decisions. These decisions are not influenced by a top-down investment committee, an in-house ‘responsible investing/proxy voting team’, or a marketing department – as none of these exist at Marathon. A company with ESG concerns could still be an attractive investment, if the issues are outweighed by other considerations, including valuation.
For further information on Marathon's approach to ESG please click here to view Marathon's ESG Policy.
Engagement and Voting
Marathon's primary focus is finding companies that it believes are able to generate good returns over time, but the firm also has a strong track record of engagement with company management, to encourage long-term value creation. Portfolio managers feel this is more effective than an activist approach of taking outsize bets with clients’ assets and then publicly criticising companies, in an effort to force short-term changes upon them. Initially, Marathon’s preference is to engage privately with company management, to better understand strategic plans and capital allocation; but if necessary, the firm will consider escalating engagement and stewardship activities. Portfolio managers have always voted their own proxies at Marathon, as we consider the ability to influence management to be an integral part of the investment management function.
For further details about Marathon’s proxy voting activity and policy click here.
In addition to the internal initiatives discussed above, Marathon is also committed to working with various external organisations, as well as being subject to some specific regulation related to sustainability. We list the key ones below, with links to any responses or required documentation where relevant.
- Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI): Marathon is a signatory of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. You can find our latest Assessment Report here and the current Transparency Report here.
- Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): Marathon became a supporter of the TCFD in March 2021. The TCFD’s goal is to encourage companies to report on climate related risks, and how they plan to respond to them, in a uniform way, improving market transparency and stability. As a result of this commitment Marathon decided to assess its own corporate emissions and has now been certified as a CarbonNeutral® company (details can be found here).
- Stewardship Codes: Marathon is a signatory of both the UK and Japanese Stewardship Codes. Our current stewardship code statements can be found here (UK) and here (Japan).
Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation
Marathon’s Sustainability Risk Policy can be found here.