MSCI indexes will not restrict stocks that deny shareholders a vote | Reuters

Index provider MSCI Inc (MSCI.N) said on Tuesday it would allow companies that give shareholders unequal voting rights to remain on its current equity indexes, backing down from an earlier proposal that would have reduced exposure to such companies.But MSCI, whose indexes guide hundreds of billions of dollars in assets, said it would launch a…

‘Quiet diplomacy’ the weapon of choice for passive funds | Financial Times

About a fifth of the freely traded shares of the US equity market are now owned by index-tracking funds and passive institutional mandates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. This underlines the vital role played by the three largest managers in this space — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street — in policing corporate standards.Larry Fink,…

Indexed Investments and “The Problem of Twelve”

John Coates has a thoughtful paper on the legal and economic challenges of “the problem of twelve,” the prospect of a majority of shares in public companies being managed by just twelve entities, in effect twelve people. [T]he rise of indexing presents a sharp, general, political challenge to corporate law. The prospect of twelve people…

Why we’re all impact investors now | Chicago Booth Review

For nearly 50 years, many have been guided by the idea, laid out most famously by Milton Friedman, that the most appropriate way to create social change is to give profits to investors, and taxes to the government, and use that money to make an impact. For just as long, other investors have argued in…

Index funds must be activists to serve investors | Financial Times

We first made this point in the late 1980’s. If you can’t sell, you must engage. Good to see index funds catching up. Efforts by large index fund managers to engage with public companies have recently come under attack from some business leaders. They complain that we are misusing our rights as shareholders to enforce…

Passive Investors = Active Owners

Good to have substantiation and support for something we’ve been saying since the early 1980’s. Our key insight is that although index funds are locked into their investments, the shareholders who invest in these funds are not. Like all mutual fund shareholders, investors in index funds can exit at any time by selling their shares…

CII on Unequal Voting Shares and Index Funds

The Council of Institutional Investors has written an exceptionally thoughtful reply to MSCI on the issue of dual class stock and index funds, in response to MSCI’s Consultation on the Treatment of Unequal Voting Structures in the MSCI Equity Indexes. The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) is committed to the alignment of economic rights and…