Proxy voting is an essential responsibility of active owners. It can influence everything from the diversity and independence of board members to oversight of human rights and climate strategy. We vote all proxies for all relevant funds in our lineup.
In 2022 dominant themes such as climate change, political spending/lobbying, and diversity, equity and inclusion, featured prominently on proxy ballots. The most significant new trend came in the form of racial equity audits. The number of new proposals grew rapidly in 2022 and enjoyed sizable shareholder support. We also saw human rights-related resolutions grow substantially, reflecting increasing investor awareness—and unease—of human rights risks.
Issues in focus
The main issues we participated in as shareholders voting in 2022 included human rights, inequality, net-zero alignment, biodiversity and governance. We also participated in director elections with a focus on voting against directors based on a non-independent chair of the board, lack of gender diversity, excessive auditor tenure, lack of racial or ethnic diversity and dual-class share structures with unequal voting rights.