We recently announced that we will offer more investors the power to direct how shares held in the funds they own are voted.
The new program will offer eligible investors in certain institutional funds in the US and the UK a range of voting policies that will be applied to the voting of shares held in those funds. Voting policies offered as part of the new program will be made available to investors through Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a recognized independent proxy voting provider.
The voting guideline options are:
ISS Benchmark Policy
Guidelines based on ISS’ Global Voting Principles, which provide for four key tenets on accountability, stewardship, independence, and transparency.
ISS Sustainability Policy
Seeks to promote support for recognized global governing bodies promoting sustainable business practices advocating for stewardship of environment, fair labor practices, non-discrimination, and the protection of human rights.
ISS Socially Responsible Investment Policy
Consistent with the dual objectives of socially responsible shareholders – financial and social, the policy reflects a broad consensus of the SRI community and incorporates the assumption that ESG factors could present material risks to portfolio investments.
ISS Catholic Faith-Based Policy
Guidelines for Catholic and other Christian religious institutions that are consistent with the objectives of socially responsible shareholders as well as the teachings of Catholicism and Christianity as a whole.
ISS Public Fund Policy
Designed to help ensure that public funds fulfil all statutory and common law obligations governing proxy voting, with the intent of maximizing the long term economic benefits of its plan participants, beneficiaries, and citizens of the state in which the fund resides.
ISS Taft-Hartley Policy
Based on the AFL-CIO Proxy Voting Guidelines, which comply with all the fiduciary standards delineated by the US Department of Labor.
ISS Board Aligned Policy (US only)
Recommends votes in support of the management recommendation on all ballot items except in circumstances where there is a material governance failure or non-compliance with widely accepted governance practices.
Our clients in separately managed accounts already have the ability to either vote their own shares directly or delegate proxy voting of their shares to our Asset Stewardship team. With the addition of this new program, investors in more than 40% of the index equity assets managed by State Street Global Advisors1 will have the ability – by the start of the 2023 proxy season – to make choices regarding how shares held in the funds and separately managed accounts they own are voted. Similar to separately managed accounts, shareholders of institutional funds that are eligible for the new program can also still choose to delegate their votes to our Asset Stewardship team.
Over time, we intend to expand investor directed voting choice to as many of our index equity assets under management as possible.
For funds where the ability to select a proxy voting policy to apply to the voting of shares held by the funds is not yet available, or for clients who want to continue to leverage our expertise, our Asset Stewardship team will continue to vote proxies for those funds and investors. No matter what option our clients choose, we remain committed to maximizing long-term shareholder value.
We take proxy voting and the stewardship of the assets we manage on behalf of clients seriously. We will continue to engage with portfolio companies to seek long-term value and mitigate risk to our clients’ portfolios through direction conversations, proxy voting and thought leadership.
For questions or any further information on our program, please contact your State Street representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 As of September 30, 2022.
The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor.
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Expiration Date: 12.31.23