The 4th annual Global Proxy Review has now been published by the Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC), a joint initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD and Global Unions Federation.
The report and interactive website encourages investors to take an active role in proxy voting oversight for global equity portfolios. Readers will learn how to take active role in proxy voting oversight for global equity portfolios.
The 2014 Global Proxy Review provides an analysis of 44 key proxy votes that raised environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at corporations likely to be held in the global equity portfolios of pension funds. In this year’s report, highlights include:
- Key vote analysis suggesting a higher likelihood for shareholders to vote against management in the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia than in Continental Europe and South Africa;
- A section highlighting challenges related to proxy voting guidelines in line with best practice over ESG issues in pooled funds;
- The participation of nine countries, including the addition of France as a contributor.
Labor-affiliated organisations and service providers along with pension funds from Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America contributed their ESG-based analysis of key proxy votes. This information can be used to hold fund managers and proxy voting services accountable for the votes cast on behalf of pensioners and investors. According to Éric Loiselet, trustee at the ERAFP and IRCANTEC (France), and member of the French Trustee Network for Responsible Investment (RAIR):
It is difficult to ensure that proxy votes respect responsible investment criteria, especially when the activity is externally delegated, as is the case in our external asset manager and pooled fund mandates. The Global Proxy Review is a unique tool that provides an overview of proxy voting in companies likely to end up in our global equity portfolios. It allows us to engage in dialogue both with teams inside our institutions and external asset managers in the implementation of our responsible investment voting policies.
Now in its fourth edition, the Global Proxy Review along with its interactive website act as a repository where users can search key votes compiled since 2011.
The Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital is an international trade union network for the responsible investment of workers’ capital. It is a joint initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD and Global Unions Federation.
Background of Global Proxy Review
The Global Proxy Review was created to serve as an accessible resource for pension trustees who would like to evaluate how key proxy votes in international portfolios were cast on their behalf. The votes presented in the study include environmental, social and governance issues in companies with an aggregate market capitalisation of more than $1,09 trillion and included in the following indices:
Number of companies featured in the Review
JSE FTSE Top 40
JSE FTSE Top 100
United States of America
Report partners include:
- Australian Council of Super Investors (Australia);
- Shareholder Association for Research and Education (Canada);
- Réseau des administrateurs pour l’investissement responsable and the Comité intersyndical de l’épargne salariale (France);
- Eumedion (Netherlands);
- Government Employees Pension Fund (South Africa);
- Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras and the Union General de Trabajadores de España (Spain);
- ETHOS Foundation (Switzerland);
- The Trades Union Congress (UK);
- American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (US).