Heading into the 2021 proxy season, investors are increasingly focused on equity issues, climate change, and the broader role of companies in society. Shareholders filed at least 435 ESG-related shareholder proposals for the 2021 proxy season, according to the respected Proxy Preview report.
In this episode, we explore three emerging shareholder proposals.
One asks companies to give investors a “Say on climate,” a variation on “Say on pay” resolutions that gained traction after the 2008 financial crisis. To learn more, we talk with Chris Hohn, a British billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist behind the “Say on climate” resolution.
We also hear from Tejal Patel, corporate governance director at CtW Investment Group, which is behind a resolution asking companies to perform racial equity audits.
"Even the most well-meaning board might be missing certain ways that their policies affect communities of color," Tejal says. Financial institutions, in particular, need to look for those blind spots "because they play such a critical role in our economy and in our society."
And we look at a proposal that asks companies to become "public benefit corporations" to further advance stakeholder capitalism. Stakeholder capitalism posits that companies are responsible for their role in society in addition to making money for shareholders, and the idea has gained traction in recent years.
To read S&P Global's 2021 proxy report, click here.
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