NEW Anti-ESG Vote Fund — 2ndVote Advisors

A new group called 2ndVote Advisors is advertising on FOX that it can protect investors from politically-motivated proxy votes. Once again, however, they fail to come up with a single example, because there are none. Their materials claim to support: “the commonsense notion that companies focused on profits will produce better returns for their investors…

New blood at Wall Street’s old guard rattles Corporate America

This year marks a sea change as top funds throw more of their weight behind investor challenges to companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and put companies on notice by often choosing to publicize how and why they voted, a Reuters review of voting results and fund firms’ new disclosures shows. A record…

A Glimpse of a Future With True Shareholder Democracy – The New York Times

[L]ack of proxy voting capability leaves vast numbers of investors out of the equation, and gives corporations inordinate power. Consider that roughly half of all American households, comprising tens of millions of people, have a stake in the stock market. But most own equities indirectly through funds — mainly index funds. That leaves fund managers…

Agenda – BlackRock Backs Climate Resolutions While Critics Question Impact

“Supporting shareholder proposals now plays an increasingly important role in our stewardship efforts, particularly around sustainability. We will support a shareholder proposal when we agree with its intent to address a material business risk and believe that management can do better in managing and disclosing that risk. We may also support a proposal if management…

Acting SEC Chair Lee on Proxy Voting

Acting SEC Chair Allison Herren Lee made a groundbreaking speech about proxy voting to the attendees at the Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference. We publish it here in full with emphasis added. 2021 ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference March 17, 2021 Good afternoon everyone, and thank you to the ICI for inviting…

Further Reduction in “Discretionary” (“Routine”) Proxy Votes

The NYSE allows brokers to vote “in their discretion” on “routine” proxy votes. But fewer and fewer topics are considered “routine” these days, even the approval of auditors. The latest firm to end the practice of discretionary votes is TD Ameritrade. Some have raised concerns that this may limit the ability of corporations to get…

Proxy Advisory Firms Release First Reports on Latest Best Practices

For the first time, six of the world’s most influential shareholder voting research and analysis firms (better known as “proxy advisors”), which help institutional investors vote shares at stock-exchange-listed companies worldwide, have each publicly released reports showing how they comply with the latest industry Best Practice Principles. Proxy advisors have been a target of corporate…

How Vanguard Looks at Shareholder Proposals

From the Veritas Compensation in Context newsletter, courtesy of John Galloway, how Vanguard evaluates shareholder proposals: We assess each proposal through a fiduciary lens. First we look for alignment with the Vanguard funds’ corporate governance principles in the company’s board composition, the board’s oversight of strategy and risk, executive compensation, and shareholder rights. We then…

Proposed Legislation to Give Pension Plan Participants Proxy Voting Authority

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has proposed new legislation that would reverse a final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor to limit retirement plans from voting on corporate proxies and undermine workers’ voice in the public companies where they invest. In August, Trump’s Labor Department proposed a rule to discourage ERISA plans from voting their…