Stewardship is leading, managing, governing and investing responsibly with the purpose of sustaining long-term value creation by balancing the needs of all stakeholders, society, environment and future generations. It means that we manage, nurture, and grow what has been entrusted to us so that we hand it over in better condition to the next generation. It demands that organisations possess clear purpose and an enlightened ownership mentality, display a strong focus on relationships with all stakeholders and the community, and take a long-term view in planning for and defining success. It is undergirded by the three key elements – the will to act, the consideration of time-connectivity across past, present, and future, and recognising that each part of our system is dependent on the others.
In short, stewardship is about ensuring that a business can thrive and sustain growth while enhancing the wealth of its stakeholders and the well-being of the societies in which it operates over the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions
Stewardship shapes purpose-driven businesses that are focused on responsible wealth creation, to generate long-term value for the benefit of all stakeholders, the community, society, and future generations. By embracing stewardship within all business decisions and actions, we will redefine the contribution we want all businesses to make to create a better form of capitalism -- one which promotes competition but is here to serve not dominate, one which respects human beings instead of exploiting them, one which nurtures our environment instead of destroying it.
Everyone has the responsibility to be a steward – from asset owners, asset managers, investors, shareholders, boards of directors, management, policy makers, regulators, right down to citizens.
Today’s investment management system is increasingly complex and fragmented. What the investment community needs to recognise is the ultimate beneficiaries of the investment chain are regular citizens. Accordingly, the savings and investment system is here to serve citizens and is directly and morally accountable to them. Stewardship involves a search for responsible investment practices that bring in returns for the beneficiaries through channelling money toward the development of a sustainable economy which drives real value creation along the entire chain.
Looking through the lens of responsible wealth creation, any person or entity entrusted with funds throughout this system is a steward, and has the responsibility to protect and enhance these assets. Each participant in the value chain entrusts that responsibility to the next – saver through to company board. The company in turn makes investment decisions, entrusting funds to subsidiaries and divisions whose managers are then stewards of the funds under management. If the wealth creation system as a whole is to function effectively and responsibly, it needs this investment chain to operate as a stewardship value chain.
- Mr Ratan Tata, who revitalised his family's company and built it into India's leading Tata Group that we know for its social and national economic impact today
- Mr Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, who inherited control of the Ayala Group, the Philippines' oldest and most influential industrial conglomerate, and committed the company to help build and improve communities
- Mr Vineet Rai, the founder of Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, a social venture capital firm whose key focus is on making investments in distressed and difficult areas where ecosystems are underdeveloped.
- Ms Chetna Gala Sinha, founder and chair of India’s Mahila Sahakari Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation, whose work has helped uplift rural women by providing them with financial support through initiatives such as microfinancing and financial literacy programmes as well as opening the country's first bank for and by rural women.
- And of course in the context of national stewardship, our own late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who against the odds transformed Singapore from a third world to a first world economy
As a first step, sign up for our e-newsletter to be updated on our latest initiatives and engagement platforms. Besides our flagship Stewardship Asia Roundtable, we organise various regional outreach programmes in the form of conversations and training. If you are keen to explore partnership opportunities and be involved in our development projects, do contact us directly.