As one of Japan’s premier institutional investors, SuMi TRUST is dedicated to fulfilling our stewardship responsibilities. In March 2020, the Japanese government published the revised “Japan’s Stewardship Code” (the Code) which is a set of principles set by Japan’s Financial Services Agency aimed at establishing fiduciary duty by institutional investors on behalf of their clients.
Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors
Based on the principles set out in the Code, SuMi TRUST work on a number of initiatives as part of our broader efforts as a responsible investor.
Principle 1 – Policy Formation and Disclosure
We re-endorsed the revised Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors <<Japan's Stewardship Code>>, which was published on March 24, 2020. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management has formulated and published a “Policy for Addressing the Principles of the Japan’ s Stewardship Code.”
Principle 2 – Conflict of Interest Management
- As the investment managing company of the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Group, we have put in place an essential conflict of interest management system.
- We have disclosed summaries as needed of the deliberations of the Stewardship Activities Advisory Committee, which is an independent committee.
Read more about our conflicts of interest management policy here.
Principle 3 – Accurate Understanding & 4 – Dialog with Companies
- We promoted top-down approach activities for selecting companies for engagement according to each ESG12 topic based on our ESG materiality.
- We continued to focus on market cap approach activities for selecting target companies based on the importance of management issues and market capitalization, and risk approach activities targeting companies that we voted against the management proposals, and companies with misconduct.
- We promoted collective engagement activities in Japan as a member of the Institutional Investor Collective Engagement Forum (IICEF).
Principle 5 – Exercising Voting Rights
- We disclosed our voting records on all proposals for all brands we hold (in October 2020 and January, April, and July 2021).
- We disclosed our reasons for voting on each of the proposals which need explanation in light of the guidelines for exercise of voting rights. We disclosed details on voting activity in the Stewardship Report.
- We revised and published our Guidelines for the Exercise of Voting Rights (in January 2021)
Read more about our Proxy Voting activities here
Principle 6 – Reporting to Clients and Beneficiaries
- We are providing explanations about our stewardship activities to asset owners periodically or non-periodically.
- We released our 2020/2021 Stewardship Report in November 2020.
Principle 7 Development of skills
- Participated in the Investor Action on AMR, TNFD, and Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative*.
- We started operation of a U.S. subsidiary (Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management Americas, Inc) on July 1, 2020 and strengthened engagement activities in the Americas.
*Please refer to our ESG: Our Approach page for more information on our participation in global initiatives.