International Biotechnology Trust (“IBT” or “the Company”) has been delivering financial value to shareholders since 1994 whilst simultaneously creating a positive social impact by investing in companies that develop innovative treatments for patients suffering with unmet medical needs. The products developed by the companies we invest in can radically change the way diseases are treated, bringing positive impact to patients and healthcare systems globally.
The Board of International Biotechnology Trust (“the Board”) recognises that a responsible and proactive approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) related factors can positively impact the performance and success of its portfolio companies, and the Company.
In October 2021, the Board adopted a new ESG Policy for IBT. The policy aims to integrate consideration for ESG factors into the investment process, governance and choice of suppliers for IBT and to exert influence on portfolio companies and suppliers to consider ESG factors in their respective activities. The Fund Manager, SV Health Managers ("SV"), will implement a policy which integrates consideration for ESG factors into the investment process. SV has developed a proprietary screening system for ranking the ESG compliance of the top ten portfolio companies, which will be used to influence portfolio companies and encourage adherence to high standards of governance. The Board will also consider ESG factors in its choice of suppliers.
The policy focuses on three key areas.
IBT as an Investor
The Board considers that focusing on the ESG adherence of its investments and engaging with the management of key portfolio companies has the potential to bring about positive change in its investment universe. In particular, IBT believes its potential for the greatest impact will generally be on its top ten quoted holdings and its private holdings where its larger investment size gives it greater influence. The Board believes that through IBT’s focus on ESG as an investor, it can help maximise its portfolio companies’ positive impact whilst generating attractive investor returns. IBT’s ESG policy has three key areas in as far as it relates to investments.
1. Thorough ESG diligence and investing for impact;
2. Meaningful engagement with portfolio companies; and
3. Reporting to shareholders.
As a shareholder, IBT will exert its influence over the most significant companies in its portfolio through a proprietary questionnaire developed by SV Health Investors. This questionnaire will focus on a broad spectrum of areas from environmental (carbon emissions, animal welfare, chemical disposal etc), social (meeting unmet medical need, healthcare pricing, diversity and inclusion), to governance (quality of management, shareholder structure and rights, business policies etc.). The aggregate findings of the survey will be reported to shareholders and will provide an important tool for the Investment Managers’ decision-making process. IBT, through SV will engage with portfolio companies who provide disappointing responses to the survey.
IBT as a Company
IBT is a plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has no office of its own, and its only employees are its Directors. IBT is committed to the principles of ESG compliance and endeavours to implement positive changes in all areas. The Board adheres to the highest standards in terms of its reporting and governance.
IBT’s Suppliers’ Sustainability Policy
Other than the oversight role played by the Board, all the key functions of the Company are undertaken by external suppliers. The Board recognises the opportunity which that creates to influence and improve the ESG policies of a range of different financial services providers and other related companies.
The Board will request all the key suppliers to the Company to supply details of their own ESG policies and efforts made to enhance their ESG profile annually. Where permitted, links to these will be added to IBT’s website. In the event of a supplier consistently failing to supply such credentials, and/or failing to implement suitable ESG measures in their business, the Board will engage with them on this matter and ultimately, in the case of continued non-compliance, will consider changing suppliers.
All of IBT’s investments and activities are aligned with UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 3: “Good Health and Well-being. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”
Download the Full ESG Policy →