U.S. SEC to consider new guidance on investor use of proxy advisors – Reuters

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday said it would hold a meeting next week on whether to publish new guidance regarding the responsibilities of investors when relying on so-called proxy advisors.The proposal comes amid a push by the corporate lobby to rein in proxy advisors, which recommend how investors should vote in…

A Catch 22 for Asset Managers

Jasmin Sethi writes about the impact of concentrated voting power and calls for better disclosure of the exercise of ownership rights: The big three—BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard—are victims of their own size. As they have increased their assets under management, they have also increased their voting power as typically they vote the shares for…

Building a Climate Change Voting Policy

The high percentage of withdrawn proposals in the U.S. signifies a positive development for climate change risk-aware investors, as companies appear more willing to engage and disclose information that satisfies the original proponents. That said, proposal filings and the agreements that lead to proposal withdrawals reflect the specific views and requests of the filer. For…

Why Proxy Votes are Important for ESG Investing | ThinkAdvisor

When investing client assets in ESG-focused funds, don’t just consider a fund’s investment strategy and holdings; look also at its proxy voting history and current votes on shareholder resolutions, now that the proxy voting season is underway. What you find may surprise you and/or your clients. According to a new report from Morningstar focused on…

Jim McRitchie’s Draft Petition to the SEC on Disclosure of Proxy Votes

Jim McRitchie (jm@corpgov.net) is seeing comments on his draft rulemaking petition for real-time disclosure of proxy votes. Corporations have facilitated the most dynamic economic growth in history. Addressing adverse externalities, like dark money and climate change, has been hampered by dispersed ownership. Mechanisms are needed to define common values and increase individual empowerment within corporate dominated…

John Wilcox: Proxy Plumbing Comment

Longtime proxy solicitor John Wilcox has submitted one of the most thoughtful comment on the SEC’s proxy roundtable issues. No one is more familiar with the issues raised by the current complexity of the system that provides information and voting mechanics. An excerpt: The failures of the proxy system have traditionally been blamed on back-office…

On Governance: What Does the Near Future Hold for Proxy Advisors?

The Conference Board’s list of predictions about the outcome of the SEC’s proxy roundtable hearing looks more like a wish list than anything grounded in probability, with the exception of the comments by the Conference Board’s own Doug Chia: Governance Center Executive Director, Doug Chia observed coming out of the SEC roundtable, “What seemed to…