SSGA's Response to Green Paper on Corporate Governance Reform
State Street Global Advisors1 (“SSGA”) appreciates the opportunity to respond to the Green Paper on Corporate Governance Reform. SSGA is the asset management business of State Street Corporation, one of the world's leading providers of financial services to institutional investors. With over $2.4* trillion (USD) of assets under management (“AUM”) across a range of asset classes and investment styles, SSGA is a large global investment manager. In addition, SSGA is also one of the largest investment managers in the UK with more than £203 billion of UK managed AUM.
SSGA’s approach towards proxy voting and issuer engagement is premised on the belief that companies that adopt robust and progressive governance and sustainability practices (ESG) should be better positioned to generate long‐term value and manage risk. As near perpetual holders of the constituents of the world’s primary indices, we believe that the informed exercise of voting rights coupled with targeted and value‐driven engagement is an effective mechanism of creating value for our clients. Therefore, on an annual basis we engage with over 600 companies globally, over 10% of which are with UK companies, on various ESG issues including board effectiveness and executive compensation. Since 2013, SSGA has had approximately 2,200 engagements on ESG issues with over 1,200 companies in our global portfolio.
While the Green Paper addresses several issues, we have chosen to address select questions where we believe our feedback would be more meaningful for the Government. Our comments below draw on our experience as an institutional investor that engages with a large number of companies globally and we hope you find our views useful.