Shareholder Proposals 2019—ESG No-Action Letter Trends and Strategies

Shareholder proposals relating to ESG matters are frequent targets for exclusion by companies, and based upon a survey of the no-action letters submitted during the 2019 proxy season, this trend continues. Over 40% of the no-action letters we reviewed for the 2019 proxy season related to a variety of ESG matters, and the arguments and…

Has ESG Gone Mainstream?

A new report from Ethical Corporation argues that ESG’s rapidly increasing acceptance is based on understanding that it is about managing risk. “ESG will become much more a part of mainstream investing over the next ten years,” says Carlo Funk, EMEA head of ESG strategy at State Street Global Advisors. “It will move from being…

Jupiter Backs Barclays Shareholder Resolution on Climate Change – Bloomberg

Jupiter Asset Management has thrown its weight behind a shareholder campaign urging Barclays Plc to set out how it will stop financing energy firms that don’t align with the Paris Agreement climate goals. The London-based fund manager joins around a dozen institutions including Amundi SA to back what supporters say is the first climate change…

Shareholder seeks reparations for slave-built railroad

A new category for ESG — the first-ever shareholder proposal calling for reparations from a company with a history of slave labor going back to the 19th century. In the first proposal of its kind, a shareholder is requesting a report from railroad company CSX on how it would go about paying reparations for the…

ESG Performance and the Credit Markets

Joshua A. Feltman and Emily D. Johnson, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz write: Over time, we expect companies to find their cost of capital more directly tied to their ESG risk, which firms are lining up to help investors evaluate. All of the major credit ratings agencies have signed onto the Principles for Responsible Investment…

BlackRock’s Vow for Greener Planet to Get First Real-World Test – Bloomberg

Fink, who built the company from a mortgage-bond specialist into the largest asset manager in the world, has a crew of just a few dozen to prod the thousands of companies in BlackRock’s $7 trillion of funds to toe a more environmentally friendly line. With the annual proxy season set to kick off in earnest next month, when shareholders get…

Business Roundtable members face challenge over commitments | Financial Times

Companies including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock will be forced to confront accusations of hypocrisy at their upcoming shareholder meetings from investors challenging commitments made by corporate America to consider the environment and their workers alongside profitability. The companies are among members of the Business Roundtable, one of the largest business lobbying groups in the US, which…