Online annual reporting
Schroders are a global investment manager with the purpose of helping to build the long-term future prosperity of their clients.
With 2019 being the third year of Schroders and Black Sun working together, the collaborative relationship has evolved to include annual, online, and Gender Pay Gap reporting, as well as strategic consultancy.
Strategic alignment with stakeholders
A key reporting guideline introduced this season was the inclusion of a Section 172 statement, promoting the need to foster the company’s business relationships with all stakeholders. Schroders have embraced this requirement by not only including a statement, but structuring their entire report around their stakeholders and showcasing the stakeholder value they create. Firstly, the focus is on clients and the strategic capabilities Schroders have to best serve them. The focus then moves on to highlighting how they can generate sustainable returns for their shareholders, and how they place great value on the people, culture, and working environment of Schroders. Lastly, Schroders address the incredible commitment they have made to society to have net zero carbon emissions from 2020, and to have ESG integration across their managed assets by the end of 2020.
In addition to the above, a gap was recognised in the Schroders strategy, with regard to their strategic opportunities. Therefore, for 2019 these opportunities were built out and aligned fully with the Schroders business priorities, providing a seamless link between their ultimate goals and the actions they’ll prioritise to achieve these.
Communicating sustainable performance
ESG is a rising trend within the industry, however to Schroders, it is more than just a trend. It is of great importance and key to their story as a PLC. This is reflected in the annual report in many ways, including, a commitment to creating an inclusive employee culture where everyone can thrive, a more granular alignment to the UN SDGs, and working alongside clients using their ground-breaking, home-grown SustainEx tool, which quantifies the hidden costs of a companies’ social impacts.
Governance and Remuneration
2019 was a year of significant change and progress for Schroders, most notably with Michael Dobson stepping down after ten years as Chairman. In addition to this change, after careful consideration of their section 172 duties, the Board made key decisions to progress the Schroders landscape and they communicated these clearly in their reporting. These decisions include the acquisition of a 70% stake in BlueOrchard – impact investing asset management business, operating on a net zero carbon basis from 1 January 2020, the appointment of two independent non-executive directors to encourage diversity of thought as well as independent challenge and oversight, and the announcement of a new remuneration policy aligned with all stakeholder groups.
The Schroders approach to remuneration reporting also changed, as they boldly and successfully integrated their remuneration at a glance section with the remuneration committee Chairman’s statement. Allowing information to be presented in a more user-friendly and cohesive manner.
Online Annual Report
The 2019 OAR showcases Schroders’ four key identified stakeholders: clients, society, people and shareholders, whilst providing for the user seamless navigation around the report.
The online report takes their digital reporting communications to new levels from a content, structure and creative perspective. It was a top priority to ensure greater simplicity and flow for 2019, and an increase in dwell time and page views, along with more pdf downloads, clearly confirms that this was a success and that there is ever greater engagement with both the reporting content and online annual report messaging.