Castlefield’s external advisory committee held an online meeting in February 2021 and welcomed a new member, Dr Ilma Nur Chowdhury. Dr Chowdhury is an Assistant Professor in Marketing at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) and a Chartered Marketer.
The meeting covered a wide-range of topics, including the positive ESG impacts of two new fund holdings, EMIS and Inspiration, which both operate in the healthcare sector. Members of the Castlefield’s investment team also talked the committee through two recent divestments, Kingspan and Personal Group, both sold due to ESG concerns. Next the committee discussed the socio-political issues concerning companies with operations and supply chains in China.
The committee also reviewed this year’s changes to Castlefield’s voting guidelines. Most notably, Castlefield will now vote against variable pay packages (i.e. short and long term bonuses) for executives if they exceed 200% of base pay. On voting, the committee also heard how the investment team will vote on dividend payments in the year ahead, particularly with regard to companies that have previously been the recipient of government furlough funds. Finally, the committee heard from Castlefield’s head of research on the latest findings from a survey on the impact of Covid on investee companies.
After three excellent years as chairperson, Kevin Davies, will be stepping down from the role and committee members will appoint a replacement at the next meeting in September. Kevin was the Committee’s first chairperson and he has been instrumental is ensuring its success. We are very grateful to him and thank him sincerely for his contribution.
 Environmental, social and governance