Sustainable investing in public investments focuses on integrating material environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into our rigorous due diligence process of potential investments. Once an investment is made, we actively engage with our investee companies as a shareholder through our voice with management and exercising our votes.
We incorporate ESG considerations into our investment analysis and decision-making processes for all of our key investments, whether we are investing in equity or debt securities, and focus on those ESG factors that are most relevant and material to the investment under consideration.
Our objective is to gauge the likelihood and degree to which ESG-related issues could affect our investments, either through a direct impact to the intrinsic value of the business, or through reputational risk. When we make an investment, we continuously monitor ESG factors, alongside other factors, as part of our active asset management.
As owners of companies, OMERS has important rights and responsibilities, including the right to vote our shares at company meetings. We exercise our ownership rights through the proxy process by voting our shares, whether with respect to governance matters, corporate transactions and in connection with other matters being presented to shareholders.
Our voting decisions are based on OMERS proxy voting guidelines, which promote good corporate governance and which hold boards accountable for their decisions. These guidelines are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect evolving developments, and are publicly accessible on our website. We retain the flexibility to consider circumstances and determine how to vote in the best interest of OMERS.
Our proxy voting decisions are made internally by OMERS professionals for all of our North American securities and our largest holdings. Although we consider research and recommendations from third-party proxy advisors, such decisions are based on our own opinion as to what is best for OMERS. We do not always agree with the recommendations of proxy advisors or management of companies.
In addition to diligently voting our shares, we encourage responsible corporate behaviour by speaking directly to investee companies. As a large and influential shareholder, OMERS often has the opportunity to meet with management teams and boards of directors, and to directly engage them in open and constructive dialogue. By sharing our views on a one-to-one basis with representatives of the companies in which we invest, we can encourage responsible corporate behaviour and accountability.