Singapore Stewardship Principles (SSP) for Responsible Investors: Frequently Asked Questions

About the SSP

What is the SSP?

The SSP is a set of stewardship principles intended to enhance Singapore’s investment environment by reinforcing investor stewardship. It aims, by articulating the core behaviour and actions associated with investor stewardship, to enable investors to be active and responsible shareholders.

The SSP provides a view on the activities and functions that stewards should carry out, and how these should relate to the boards and management of investee companies.

Is the SSP a code of conduct enforced by the local authorities?

The SSP is not intended to be rigid rules to be enforced or prescriptive measures to be adhered to, nor is it intended to constitute a code. It is stated as broad principles, with suggested ways that these principles could be applied. Articulating and sharing stewardship activities, and the level of commitment to the SSP, are matters that are left to each individual investor to adopt, on a wholly voluntary basis.

Supporting the SSP

Who should support the SSP?

Institutional asset owners, asset managers and service providers – such as proxy advisors and investment consultants – are encouraged to support the Stewardship Principles.

Why should organisations support the SSP?

There is a trend towards more fragmented ownership and shorter shareholding tenures in today’s investment environment. This is arguably eroding the ownership mentality and replacing it with a short-term trading perspective.

Stewardship is especially important in such an environment for the wider business and investment ecosystem, including investors and investee companies. In this respect, the SSP is intended to encourage companies to pursue the spirit of good governance and stewardship over that of form, with the ultimate objective of helping companies secure their performance over the long term.

How can organisations support the SSP?

Investors and companies that wish to support the SSP are encouraged to practise stewardship in their actions and daily operations, adhering to the principles as is appropriate for their circumstances and drawing upon the accompanying guidance where needed. They may make their support publicly known through their own channels.

Investors and companies who support the SSP are requested to inform the SSP Steering Committee of their intent at contact@stewardshipasia.com.sg for networking and mutual learning purposes, so as to develop a community of like-minded investors who share a stewardship orientation.

How will organisations benefit from supporting the SSP?

Investor stewardship contributes directly to the long term sustainable performance of investee companies and thereby creates financial benefits for the investors themselves. Going beyond the purely monetary returns, stewardship is a means for investors to display and exercise responsibility to the communities they and their investee companies operate in. By doing so, they build stronger relationships with vested stakeholders and hence ensure their own long term sustainability.

Are there fees associated with supporting the SSP?

There are no fees associated with the SSP.

Support for the SSP is an ongoing effort to maintain and improve a stewardship orientation over the long term. As with any endeavour worth undertaking, stewardship may require resources and effort. It is left entirely to supporters to decide how much effort and resources they wish to dedicate to being good stewards.

As a supporter of the SSP

What do organisations that support the SSP need to do?

Investors are encouraged to adopt the aim and spirit of the SSP, absolutely on a voluntary basis. The extent to which they practise, articulate and share their stewardship activities, and their level of commitment to the SSP, is to their own discretion and may be adjusted according to their own circumstances.

Investors are encouraged to avoid a "box-ticking" approach and to consider instead whether their activities are appropriate to their stewardship orientation. Supporting the SSP is not merely about adding one’s name to a list. It is an ongoing effort to maintain and improve one’s stewardship orientation over the long term.

Will the extent to which my organisation adheres to the SSP be audited?

There is no audit process associated with the SSP.

What if my organisation supports the SSP but does not adhere to it?

Investors and companies that support the SSP do so because it resonates with their values and practices. The SSP is not enforced or audited. However, investors and companies are encouraged to periodically evaluate the extent to which they have articulated their stewardship policies. Such articulation of stewardship policies and positions should form standards that investors and companies hold themselves to.

The SSP Working Group and the SSP Steering Committee

What is the SSP Working Group?
    The SSP is an industry-led initiative, supported by the MAS and SGX and developed by a Working Group comprising relevant organisations which are committed to enhancing Singapore's investment environment.The Working Group comprises the following organisations:
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Asia Pacific Real Estate Association
  • CFA Singapore
  • CPA Australia
  • Hermes Equity Ownership Services Ltd
  • Investment Management Association of Singapore
  • Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
  • Securities Investors Association (Singapore)
  • Singapore Institute of Directors
  • Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
  • Stewardship Asia Centre

The SSP Working Group is supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange.

What is the SSP Steering Committee?

Evolving from the Working Group, the SSP Steering Committee was formed thereafter to launch, promote and administer the SSP, and is similarly supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange.

The Steering Committee was formed from the SSP Working Group and officially established on 2 November 2016, concurrent with the launch of the SSP. It comprises the following organisations:

    Chair:
  • Stewardship Asia Centre
    Members:
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Asia Pacific Real Estate Association
  • CFA Singapore
  • CPA Australia
  • Investment Management Association of Singapore
  • Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
  • Securities Investors Association (Singapore)
  • Singapore Institute of Directors
  • Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
  • Stewardship Asia Centre

The SSP Steering Committee is supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange.

Please click here for the Singapore Stewardship Principles (SSP) Press Release.