"Article 14(2) of the German Basic Law: Property entails obligations. Its use shall also serve the public good."
Fiduciary duty is practically the only duty of a company shareholder. They are the actual owners of the company. We consider this duty to be based on the fiduciary exercise of the voting rights associated with our investors’ assets. Voting rights are in turn one of the few rights of the shareholder, although are at the same time amongst the strongest. Although voting rights are not always fairly distributed owing to the parallel requirement of accumulating capital, they are however profoundly democratic.
The value of a good strategy is measured primarily against its impact. The aim of MainFirst in issuing this Voting Report is to establish transparency in terms of its approach. This effect may only be one small part of the overall picture; however, it is precisely here that active asset managers can make a difference where they hold significant positions in individual companies. Considering that the proportion of the capital represented is all too often very low, this means that it is all the more important not to forfeit these rights, but rather to exercise them in the best interest of investors. It is important for us to document this comprehensively and to communicate it more transparently. This is because communication and dialogue can often solve the apparent contradiction between finance and sustainability.
As an asset manager, we are always aware of our duty of care towards our investors. This means that representing interests and voting rights is a major priority for MainFirst. Our aim is – taking account of the most varied aspects such as sustainability or corporate strategy – to exercise our voting rights actively and comprehensively in the interest of investors and in order to implement our principles in the best possible manner.