Environmental and Social Voting at the Big Three

Environmental and social (E&S) issues are an increasingly publicized component of investment management. Large fund families, including the “Big Three” of Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street, market themselves as advocates for the environment, women, workers in developing countries, and other non-shareholder constituencies. Funds make such claims not only for their designated socially responsible investment (SRI) funds, but also for their mass-market, plain-vanilla index funds. Based on funds’ marketing materials, stewardship reports, and public statements from fund executives, reasonable investors may well expect high levels of support for shareholder proposals relating to E&S issues. Have these statements  translated into meaningful changes … Read more