Shareholder Orientation

Management team interests should be in line with those of ordinary shareholders and they should be rewarded based on their success in building their company for the long-term. The Manager is determining the level of shareholder orientation by looking at the capital allocation of companies and management incentives. Companies with shareholder friendly policies regarding dividends and share buy-backs will get a higher score. But also, the alignment of management with shareholders through management holding a significant part of their personal wealth in company shares is positive. Shareholder disputes are a clear negative here. When looking at the capital allocation track record of management, high conviction companies have investments in activities with high returns on invested capital; they have a strong track record of creating value through acquisitions that make strategic sense; do share repurchases at attractive prices and have high and growing dividends. When judging management incentives, high conviction companies have high insider ownership either through percentage ownership or in amount; ownership should be through outright share ownership and insiders should be buying. Management compensation should be strongly aligned with shareholders’ interest and the focus should be on long-term incentives. A lack of anti-takeover provisions also helps to get a higher rating for shareholder orientation.

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