The CEOs behind the fake dark money front groups Main Street Investor Coalition and American Council on Capital Formation have produced a bogus study purporting to show “robo-votes” by professional money managers, alleging they blindly follow the recommendations of proxy advisory firms. Now, in an extraordinary statement, the provider of the data used for the “report” has completely repudiated its findings and says that the data was provided to third parties in breach of the client agreement.
The CEOs behind this effort to limit the independent research provided by proxy advisors have been laughably incompetent at every stage, creating instantly discredited fake astroturf groups and commissioning instantly discredited studies. We hope they do better in managing their companies, and we are glad that — unless they are successful in getting the rules changed — investors have the right to complain if they are not.
Here is the ProxyInsight statement in full.
On Friday I was made aware of a report, citing Proxy Insight data, criticising the undue influence of Proxy Voting Advisors on the stewardship activities of the investment community.
As a data provider, we fully understand that our data will be used in many different ways. However, in this instance we feel compelled to respond.
Proxy Insight’s “Investor Correlation to ISS /Glass Lewis” was used to support a claim that investors simply blindly follow the recommendations of the PVAs. This is a classic case of using the data to tell the story you want. Tomorrow, Proxy Insight will submit a response to the SEC Proxy Process Roundtable concluding the exact opposite based on splitting the FOR and AGAINST recommendations of each PVA. This provides, for the first time, conclusive proof of the divergence between investor voting and PVA house recommendations.
Proxy Insight is not, has never been and does not intend to be a proxy voting advisor, so we can be completely unbiased and objective in this regard. We have nothing to gain by taking sides in this debate, other than representing what investors tell us on a day-to-day basis which is clearly backed up by our data.
Finally the authors of the report are not our clients but were provided our data from a client in breach of our agreement. May I remind all our users that only limited extracts of our data may be supplied to third parties in the course of your normal business – if in doubt please contact us before supplying externally.
If you would like to discuss this matter further please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 20 7788 7772