St. James' Place provides wealth management services to businesses and individuals. The financial institution offers: investments; retirement planning; business strategy; estate management; savings; and mortgages. In addition to its 2,673 employees, it has 4,556 advisers in partnership making it the largest network of accredited and chartered advisers in the UK. In 2021 St. James’ Place had 868,000 clients and GBP 155.7 billion in total assets.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, the responsibility for sustainability issues within St. James’ Place lies with the board of directors. Moreover, the financial institution links the remuneration of its executive team to sustainability performance criteria. Regarding gender equality and diversity, the financial institution publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment. On the topic of engagement, the St. James’ Place describes its approach to engagement on sustainability themes and impact topics, which includes a clear framework with success criteria and escalation points in the event that engagement with investees is unsuccessful. It also provides details regarding how it engages with investees in practice and publishes case studies describing where it has engaged successfully on sustainability themes and impact topics.
As a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), St. James’ Place has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It also discloses absolute financed emissions. In terms of engagement, it discloses the key companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, and the rationale for choosing these priorities. It also engages with its investees collectively as a member of Climate Action 100+. In regard to biodiversity, the financial institution discloses nature- and biodiversity-related impacts as one of its engagement topics with companies to which it provides financial services.
St. James’ Place has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights, as well as bribery and corruption, concerns and complaints. Indeed, the financial institution has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption. Moreover, it has a public commitment to protecting personal data, as well as a privacy statement on the use of personal data. In addition, St. James’ Place discloses a global tax strategy, responsibility for which lies with the chief financial officer. It also discloses income tax payments for all its tax jurisdictions.
St. James’ Place has an opportunity to link the remuneration of its management team to sustainability performance criteria. Currently, only executive remuneration is linked to sustainability. On the topic of remuneration, the financial institution has an opportunity to disclose the ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category. In terms of female representation in leadership positions, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only 30% of board members are women. The financial institution also has an opportunity to reach at least 40% female representation in senior leadership positions. Presently, 24.4% of senior roles are held by women.
While St. James’ Place aims to decrease the carbon intensity of its investments by 25% by 2025, there is an opportunity for the financial institution to disclose interim absolute financed emissions reduction targets, rather than intensity-based targets. In addition to engagement on the topic of climate change, the financial institution has an opportunity to specify that it engages with investees on the topic of 1.5°C alignment. Furthermore, while the financial institution discloses the percentage of its assets that integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability themed investing, it could disclose the aggregate amount of financing devoted to climate solutions. St. James’ Place also has an opportunity to commit to minimising its negative impacts on nature and biodiversity and to financing regenerative solutions.
There is no evidence that St. James’ Place has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights laid out in the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and the ILO declaration on fundamental rights at work. Additionally, the financial institution has an opportunity to describe a process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts through its relevant financing activities. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, the financial institution has an opportunity to disclose the amount of finance directed towards, for example, women-owned businesses, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or low-income developing countries.
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Net income: GBP 18 billion; Total assets: GBP 155.73 billion