A record number of shareholder ESG resolutions have passed in 2020: 21 so far this year, compared to 13 in both 2019 and 2018 and five in 2017, according to data from Proxy Insight. At the same time, of the 233 total social or environmental proposal votes this year, only around half received 20 percent or greater support at annual meetings. While that might indicate limited investor appetite, investors are increasingly being forced to consider ESG resolutions as their clients—and the public—demand it, the Financial Times reported.
Like ESG-related shareholder proposals, steering money toward ESG funds is a key tactical arrow in the quiver for the corporate activism-minded. It got a little harder last week as the U.S. Department of Labor adopted a rule requiring employer 401(k) plans under ERISA to select investments based on financial factors, as opposed to other goals, notably ESG. The rule, initially proposed in June, affects some $10.7 trillion of investments, The Deal reported. If Joe Biden is elected, however, analysts expect Democrats to freeze the rule or seek to have it voided.
Twitter said in a filing this week that a board committee—including representatives from Elliott Management and Silver Lake—recommended leaving the company’s current management structure in place. Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey, who also serves as CEO of Square, Inc., had been under pressure over his split role. The investors gave a pass to Dorsey’s unique two-company role even as executives serving as CEO and chair of the same company remain under the microscope.
Have a great weekend,