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.
The Board sees three key areas of focus for ESG
- IBT as an investor
- IBT as a company
- IBT’s suppliers
IBT as an Investor
IBT’s investment approach in relation to ESG is based on three pillars:
- Thorough ESG diligence and investing for impact;
- Meaningful engagement with portfolio companies; and
- Reporting to shareholders
The Board considers that focussing 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 notes that ESG and sustainability concerns have become key considerations for many of its investors. 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 will perform an ESG screening process of its quoted portfolio companies using data provided by Morningstar’s Sustainalytics platform to measure performance in respect of ESG criteria. The Investment Managers will lead this process on behalf of IBT. The top ten holdings in IBT’s portfolio will be screened semi-annually to coincide with IBT’s interim and annual reports. Each of the top ten companies’ environmental and social impact and the quality of their governance will be covered in Morningstar’s Sustainalytics ESG reports and these will be factored into a broader consideration of investment decisions.
SV will conduct ESG diligence on the assets it manages in the unquoted portfolio on behalf of IBT.
Using the results of the screening process, IBT’s investment managers will engage with the top ten holdings of IBT on ESG related issues with the aim of improving long-term sustainability and increasing benefits for all stakeholders. IBT’s investment management team will engage with its portfolio companies through management meetings and through the voting process if there are areas highlighted by the ESG screening process that are of concern to them.
The Board of IBT will include commentary in respect of its findings about the top ten quoted holdings which make up circa 50% of the Net Asset Value of the Company in its annual and interim reports to shareholders. The findings of SV’s monitoring of the unquoted assets will also be included in the annual report to shareholders.
IBT as a Company
IBT is a public limited company (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.
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.
Download the Full ESG Policy →