Why we vote
Exercising the right to vote is a fundamental part of being a steward of the companies in which we invest. Having the right to vote on decisions made by the boards of these companies is one of the most effective tools we have for holding them to account, encouraging good governance and driving improvements.
How we vote
We vote in line with our members’ best financial interests and do so globally on all our listed investments. We develop our own Stewardship and Voting Policy, which is supported by our Voting Guidance. We review these each year to align to our beliefs with best practice.
We consider voting against, or abstaining on, the Chair and/or members of the nomination committee if there’s less than 33% of women on the board and the company has not disclosed a timeframe for appointment. We also reserve the right to escalate the vote against the Chair of the board in following years if no improvement is seen.
We also consider voting against individual directors where we feel the company has not addressed specific systemic risks, for example when:
- a bank hasn’t publicly disclosed their climate transition plans.
- an oil and gas company hasn’t disclosed a breakdown of money spent on new, or expanding, projects that will add to their carbon footprint.
- a UK company does not comply with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act reporting requirements.
You can find out more about how we vote against individual directors in our Voting Guidance.
Things we consider
We form an independent decision on voting on a case by case basis. We take into account:
- proxy research
- outcomes from engagement meetings
- discussions with peers, and
- our internal portfolio managers’ perspectives.
Where we vote against management, we frequently write to the company to explain our concerns. We see this as an important way of providing feedback and encouraging change – it’s a form of engagement.
In accordance with best practice, we publish a list of our top global equity holdings and voting records, which you’ll find below. Where we have voted against management or abstained on a resolution, you find a brief comment to explain why.
For more on voting and stewardship, see our Stewardship Code Report.