Portfolios on the Ballot 2024
The Shareholder Commons is creating a new resource for stewardship.
Opportunity. We will publish Portfolios on the Ballot 2024 (“POTB”) in the coming proxy season. It will feature shareholder initiatives specifically designed to protect systemic value. We are asking investors and others to let us know now whether they want to be included.
We seek to work with investors and others planning stewardship campaigns for the 2024 proxy season. We begin from the proposition that the arguments in favor of social and environmental initiatives can be considerably strengthened by greater inclusion of systemic arguments.
This collaboration is intended to:
- assist campaigners in crafting those arguments,
- provide a resource to help investors vote as systemic stewards. and
- lead to enhanced resources for system stewardship.
For diversified investors, the intrinsic value of the economy is by far the greatest determinant of overall financial returns. These investors need proxy voting information that will help them optimize the returns of their entire portfolios, not just the returns of the individual companies where the votes take place.
Despite the diversified nature of most investors, the proxy voting advice offered by most market participants assumes that voting recommendations should be designed to optimize the returns at the individual company at which shares are being voted, without separately accounting for systemic or portfolio impact. But because voting choices designed only to maximize returns at individual companies may not adequately address systemic risks that companies create, such advice does not optimize the return of the diversified portfolios of most institutional asset owners. Moreover, the arguments made for stewardship initiatives often reflect the enterprise value focus of the most proxy advice.
This project will allow diversified investors to identify initiatives where systemic issues should be accounted for in voting decisions made by or on behalf of diversified investors. This will (1) help proponents of those initiatives garner more support and (2) make it easier for shareholders to engage in systemic stewardship through the exercise of their voting rights.
We are asking proponents to reach out to us before they finalize their initiatives--ideally in October or November, so that we can help identify and position initiatives of systemic importance.
Portfolios on the Ballot 2024 will include the initiatives that we collaborate on in the early stages of this process, as well as others we identify during the proxy season. We will distribute POTB through various channels, including newsletters, webinars, and social media. At a later stage in the process, we will be seeking collaboration with respect to this distribution.
If you are contemplating an action that might be appropriate for POTB, whether a proposal, a vote no campaign, or something else, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not sure whether your initiative is a good fit, let’s talk about it. We have applied a systemic lens to proposals involving living wages, disinformation, myriad environmental concerns, diversity issues, and much more. It turns out that a questionable practice at a single company often creates a portfolio-wide threat.
Our objective is to assist investors in identifying initiatives where systemic issues should be accounted for in voting decisions . Specifcally. we seek to:
- clarify the systemic arguments in favor of existing initiatives in order to better present those initiatives
- garner greater support for those initiatives
- induce more investor initiatives based on systemic, portfolio-level concerns
- create a "go-to" resource for shareholders seeking to engage in systemic stewardship
- catalyze the creation of additional resources for system stewards through the creation of critical connections in the investor community.
- 1 - No poverty
- 2 - Zero hunger
- 5 - Gender equality
- 7 - Affordable & clean energy
- 8 - Decent work & economic growth
- 10 - Reduced inequalities
- 13 - Climate action