Earlier this year Ethical Partners Investment Director Nathan Parkin spoke at the Elevate Modern Slavery Conference, which included industry, government, NGO and academic speakers and delegates. Nathan spoke on the importance of the investor voice in addressing the Modern Slavery Issue and about the research Ethical Partners has conducted into the supply chain and human rights disclosures of the top 220 companies listed on the ASX. This research showed that only 4/10 companies even mentioned supply chain or human rights in their reporting. He also encouraged the companies present to be willing to look for and address the issue of modern slavery better in their business practices and reporting and be honest about what they find and how they plan to fix it.
Nathan then discussed the importance of investors rewarding companies for doing this, which we hope will make companies feel more comfortable to examine their supply chains honestly. Ethical Partners also feels strongly that companies looking at, and fixing their supply chains, will help to reduce their reputational and business risks, thus benefitting both those affected by modern slavery and shareholders. We look forward to being involved in many more of these collaborative and advocacy events in the future.
During February 2022 the Fund returned 1.87% versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of 2.09%, underperforming the market by 0.21%. Over the past 12 months the Fund has returned 14.7%, outperforming its benchmark by 4.45% (after fees).