Response by Schroders
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on our holding in Soco International ahead of the upcoming publication of the weekly newsletter.
We are committed to examining environmental or social risks that could prove material to investment decisions across the funds we manage, and to engaging with companies where we find shortfalls.
In our experience, robust engagement with companies in which we invest allows us to exert pressure we could not by selling those shares.
We had discussions with Soco in July 2014 about the events. We have examined Soco’s role in the corruption and violence described and engaged with the company to both strengthen our understanding and to compel the company to respond appropriately.
We believe the company took the allegations seriously and appointed an independent law firm to review them. The report concluded that the accusations of bribery were substantially inaccurate and found no evidence to support the claims that the company supported or sponsored any intimidatory action against individuals or groups in the DRC.
We have been encouraging the company to improve their stakeholder dialogue, as well as its environmental and social management systems and reporting through our engagement. Owning its shares has provided us with a voice to promote change within the company.
We continue to monitor the company and its progress closely.
Global Head of Stewardship
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