Another Proxy Season for the Record Books
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement
The 2014 proxy season is virtually over, and the results highlight another record-breaking year. According to a report by the Sustainable Investment Institute (Si2), not only was the overall number of proxy resolutions filed a record high of 454, so too was the support for those resolutions going to a vote—almost 22% on average.
Part of the reason for the increasing support may be an evolution of proxy voting policies at the big mutual fund companies that control substantial numbers of company shares. According to a recent CERES report, there is growing mutual fund support overall for climate related resolutions. Support for these resolutions by a group of the largest mutual fund companies was 9% in 2009, but has increased gradually in recent years to 29% in 2013. Still, nine mutual fund groups have yet to support any climate related resolutions at all.
A recent article on SocialFunds.com highlighted the “hot topics” of the proxy season which included political spending, lobbying, and climate change.
Shareowner advocates are in the midst of filing resolutions for the 2015 proxy season and First Affirmative has filed 13 resolutions on 2015 ballots so far. Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks and months.
At First Affirmative, we understand that the ways we save, spend, and invest can dramatically influence both the fabric and consciousness of society. We believe that in addition to the benefits of ownership, investors bear responsibility for the impact our money has in the world. Are you making conscious decisions about the impact of your consumer purchase and investment decisions?
Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered an endorsement or a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Posted: January 5, 2015