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The high percentage of withdrawn proposals in the U.S. signifies a positive development for climate change risk-aware investors, as companies appear more willing to engage and disclose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…

How Funds View and Vote on Shareholder Proposals – Briefing: Governance

Ning Chiu of Davis Polk has some useful data on proxy advisors and fund votes, supporting the conclusion that clients appreciate the analysis of proxy advisory firms but make their own decisions about shareholder proposals: Funds must vote their proxies on behalf of 100 million shareholders in the aggregate and vote based on a range…

ProxyInsight Repudiates Report Claiming Undue Influence of Proxy Advisors

The CEOs behind the fake dark money front groups Main Street Investor Coalition and American Council on Capital Formation have produced a bogus study purporting to show “robo-votes” by professional money managers, alleging they blindly follow the recommendations of proxy advisory firms. Now, in an extraordinary statement, the provider of the data used for the…

‘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,…