Center for Political Accountability: Rise in Mutual Fund Support for Shareholder Resolutions on Political Contributions

The Center for Political Accountability reports that mutual funds are increasing their support for shareholder resolutions calling for companies to disclose information about their political contributions.

Support by mutual funds for the Center for Political Accountability’s corporate political disclosure resolution jumped significantly in 2017, to 48 percent from 43 percent in 2016, according to an analysis by Fund Votes.

The analysis also found that abstentions decreased from five percent to three percent, indicating a shift toward more active support for political
transparency in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency….Among 20 of the 23 largest asset managers globally, average support for the CPA model
resolution was 37.3 percent, based on 22 resolutions filed. This represents an increase of more than six percentage points from 2016 when average support was 31.1 percent, based on 27 resolutions filed. In addition, more fund groups participated in voting on the resolutions with abstentions decreasing by an average of eight percentage points from 11.5 to 3.4 percent.

As has been the case in previous years, the biggest fund groups remained the biggest laggards. Vanguard, Fidelity, BlackRock and American Funds continued a nearly unbroken record of voting against or abstaining on corporate election spending disclosure resolutions. Average shareholder support also dropped slightly from 33 percent in 2016 to 30 percent in 2017.

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