Council of Institutional Investors

Not All Mutual Funds Support Proxy Access, Finds Nathan Cummings
Thursday, January 28, 2016
by: Rosemary Lally

Section: CII Governance Alert

A deep division exists in the mutual fund industry’s approach to proxy access, finds a new analysis issued by the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

The Proxy Access Scorecard, compiled with data drawn from Fund Votes and analysis done by the 50/50 Climate Project shows how mutual funds voted on the key issue of proxy access at the annual meetings of 84 corporations in 2015. Of the 10 largest mutual fund companies in the United States, seven supported proxy access proposals the majority of the time, with BlackRock, T. Rowe Price and PIMCO supporting access proposals over 90 percent of the time, found the scorecard.

Data on mutual fund voting was provided by Fund Votes, an independent project that tracks mutual fund proxy voting in the United States and Canada. A vote ‘for,’ ‘against,’ or ‘abstain’ for a particular proposal is assigned to a fund family if at least 75 percent of funds within the family vote accordingly on a single resolution. The data does not include votes on competing management proposals requiring a 5 percent ownership threshold for proxy access.  
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