Tag Archives | Morningstar

Training for Sustainable Investing

Training for Sustainable Investing was a topic at the most recent Morningstar Conference in Chicago. (#MICUS) I would like to learn more the education of investment advisors in #ESG, #SRI, #corpgov issues. Interest in sustainable investing was high at the conference due to fund flows and client inquiries. However, I only saw a couple of handouts on the subject of education in the exhibition area. There were several sessions on sustainable investing but not on eduction programs, as far as I know. The True Faces of Sustainable Investing: Busting Industry Myths Around ESG, found that 72% of the U.S. population expressed at least a moderate interest in sustainable investing – spanning genders and generations.

Readers, what training for sustainable investing is available? Continue Reading →

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Sustainability at Morningstar

Sustainability at Morningstar (Morningstar Investment Conference #MICUS) in Chicago was an important topic, growing in popularity. As posted, their research found “72% of the United States population expressed at least a moderate interest in sustainable investing.” Nice to know many value a habitable planet as well as profits. However, research from Morningstar also finds we can divest from fossil fuels and other sectors without suffering underperformance. [Photo credit, Wyckoff-Tweedie Photography. Jon Hale of Morningstar, Michael Jantzi of Sustainalytics, Jackie Cook of Morningstar.]

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Proxy Voting Alignment Will Drive Index Fund Competition

Proxy voting alignment with client values will drive competition between index funds. Most index funds have low fees and earn close to the same rate of return for their investors. How can they differentiate themselves? SEC Commissioner Rob Jackson Jr. implies competition should be driven, at least in part, by funds aligning their proxy votes with the values of their customers. For that to happen, the SEC must update its proxy reporting rules to make it easier for investors to determine how funds have voted on proxy issues. Continue Reading →

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Gender-Diversity: Who Votes Fearlessly?

When investing for gender-diversity for other ESG, check fund voting records. With the SEC’s cryptic proxy vote disclosure system, that is difficult (draft Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes), so ask your investment advisor and hope they subscribe to Morningstar Direct. As evidenced by a recent Morningstar report, State Street’s Fearless Girl appears timid about voting for diversity.  Continue Reading →

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Internet Will Drive Public Opinion and Proxy Voting to Reflect American Values

American values were recognized as at risk in 1932 when Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means argued that with dispersed shareholders, ownership has been separated from their control. (The Modern Corporation and Private Property) Ironically, concentration of equities under the umbrella of three or four indexed funds presents an opportunity to end that divide and make companies better reflect American values by being more accountable to their beneficial owners. Accomplishing that goal depends on transparent governance, such as proxy voting, and fostering real dialogue on the issues faced by corporations and investors. As I have argued, real-time disclosure of proxy votes could drive these huge funds to compete with each other based on not only profits and costs but their governance efforts, as reflected in proxy voting records. Continue Reading →

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SEC Shareholder Proposal Panel – Take Action!

The November 15 SEC Roundtable on the Proxy Process will include me on the SEC Shareholder Proposal Panel. Public announcement with instructions for submitting comments. I will only have a few minutes at the Roundtable. What should I emphasize? Where should I stay in DC?

Take Action: Readers of CorpGov.net know far more than I do. Please email your suggestions and supporting evidence. Without your help, I will ramble off topic to connected tangents, difficult to explain in a few seconds. This post is sure to be an example. Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: Morningstar (MORN) – Proxy Score 100%

Morningstar (MORN) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/14/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked on 5/9/2013.  I voted with management 100% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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