A $750 Billion Midwest Fund Group Pushes for Board Diversity – Bloomberg

A group of 11 pension and union funds with a collective $750 billion in assets has picked up the mantle [on board diversity in small and mid-size companies]. Called the Midwest Investor Diversity Initiative, the group, which includes the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office and the Ohio Public…

Investors discuss future of ESG engagement at Sustainable Finance Forum | IR Magazine

A large UK pension manager gave a frank and detailed description of engagement with oil and gas companies, relating to enhanced disclosure and increased action on climate initiatives, particularly the 2C degree scenario. He emphasized the need for more ‘credible’ institutional leaders to ‘step up’ regarding climate issues, and suggested that the media could be…

WSJ: Giant Investors Are Coming After One of Wall Street’s Cash Cows

Liz Hoffman and Geoffrey Rogow write about direct contact between the largest investors and their portfolio companies in the Wall Street Journal. While it applies to the functions related to research and deals usually undertaken by financial intermediaries, it is likely to have an impact on governance and ESG-related engagement as well. Wall Street’s role…

New UK Rules for Improving shareholder engagement and increasing transparency around stewardship | FCA

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has issued new rules for institutional investor fiduciaries that impose new requirements for engagement and disclosure: We have introduced new requirements to improve shareholder engagement and increase transparency around stewardship. The requirements come into effect on 10 June 2019.  Asset managers and life insurers will need to disclose and make…

Dr Raj Thamotheram Calls on Investors to Take the Lead on Climate Change

Dr Raj Thamotheram compares the essential urgency of investor engagement on climate change to the first major social movement, the campaign to abolish slavery. And he says the crucial moment this proxy season is the ExxonMobil annual meeting. So why is ExxonMobil set to be the litmus test for climate aware investors in 2019? ●…

Mutual funds start to put their mouth where their money is | Reuters

Corporate America’s biggest shareholders have traditionally been content with sharing their views on a company’s strategy privately with management. But now some mutual funds are beginning to rethink their stance, amid pressure from investors for them to justify the fees they charge and a push to boost the performance of their holdings. Wellington Management Company…

Investor Engagement and Activist Shareholder Strategies

A Deloitte survey of CFOs of US public companies conducted in 2015 identified the following trends. Our experience indicates these trends still hold true, and in some cases, they have intensified. Just under three-quarters of US public companies surveyed experienced shareholder activism, most often in the form of direct communication to management or the board….

The Prescience of 5% of Investors: A Monsanto Case Study

Even though a proposal receives only a fraction of shareholder support, it may still be the best available opportunity to bring more foresight to investors, board, and management on an issue that may eventually prove costly to a company. Only a small portion of investors may be exercising prescience on risk management or governance issues…