EY: Top Priorities for Investors in 2021 Proxy Season

EY advises its clients that the top priorities for engagement by investors this proxy season are: Investors want to know how companies are strategizing for a low-carbon future. Getting diversity disclosures that include the workforce and the board is an investor priority. Investors want to understand how pay decisions are being made in the context…

Update from CalPERS

March 2021 CalPERS update, starting with commitments for this year: Proxy Voting & Corporate Engagements ✓  Vote all public company proxies in a manner consistent with CalPERS’ Governance & Sustainability Principles and CalPERS’ Investment Beliefs ✓  Actively engage 2,000+ unique companies annually on executive and employee compensation, corporate board diversity, climate change, investor rights, human…

State Street to insist companies disclose diversity data | Financial Times

State Street’s $3.1tn investment arm will start voting against directors of big companies that fail to disclose the racial and ethnic make-up of their boards, a move that will increase the mounting pressure on corporations to diversify their leadership.  For this year, the Boston-based asset manager is only calling on companies to report the information….

CERES Ties Governance to Environment

From Ceres, a new report called Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change. The full report is below. An excerpt: Companies that establish robust governance systems to address climate change as a systemic risk and align their direct and indirect lobbying efforts to support science-based climate policies will drive the creation of a regulatory…

Paper: ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk

A new paper from Andreas G.F. Hoepner, Ioannis Oikonomou, Zacharias Sautner, Laura T. Starks, and Xiao Y. Zhou asks “whether engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can benefit shareholders by reducing firms’ downside risk, measured using the lower partial moment and value at risk. Using a proprietary database, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis….

Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative | The Church of England

The Church of England Pensions Board and the Council on Ethics of the Swedish National Pension Funds convened a global tailings summit to review the progress of the industry 9 months after the disaster at Brumadinho.  This summit included:  Release of Phase 1 of a new project: the New Global Independent Tailings Database, including initial…

State Street CEO Takes the Long View on Shareholder Activism – WSJ

As CEO of State Street Corp., STT 2.10% Ronald O’Hanley is on the front lines of shareholders’ push to bring change to corporate boardrooms. State Street, STT 2.10% whose money-management arm oversees $2.7 trillion in assets, has amassed significant governance power in recent years as investors shifted more money into the lower-cost, index-tracking funds it…

Wake Up Call for Corporate Leaders on ESG, Sustainability, and Engagement

Edelman’s 2019 “Trust Barometer” shows a strong swing toward ESG and sustainability from investors. We believe the first of their conclusions listed below is misleading. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that sustainability by its very definition is not a trade-off for returns; it is essential for returns, both present value and long-term, as the…

Stewardship moves beyond box ticking | Minerva-Manifest

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published a new UK Stewardship Code which is due to come into effect on 1 January 2020. The revised Code has set a higher standard for how money is invested on behalf of UK savers and pensioners that the FRC said reflects “the changing expectations of investors and the…