The Manhattan Institute Centers’s “Proxy Monitor Season Wrap-Up” is hot off the press, and the findings presented by author James R. Copland, are remarkable.
Since 2011, MIC has monitored shareholder activism, which it describes as efforts “in which investors attempt to influence corporate management through the shareholder-proposal process.” This year’s wrap-up includes MIC-researched data from corporations’ annual meetings held by the end of June 2015. By that time, “216 of the 250 largest U.S. companies by revenues” had completed their meetings, which enable long-term shareholders owning $2,000 of equity securities to introduce proxy resolutions.
Among these proxy activists are As You Sow, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility – groups with religious backgrounds and decidedly leftist ideological agendas – and a host of likeminded crusaders of progressive causes:
Among social investors, only As You Sow introduced more than five proposals in 2015 (seven). Many other socially oriented investors sponsored multiple proposals, however: social-investing platforms Arjuna Capital (three), Domini Social Investments (three), Green Century Capital Management (three), Investor Voice (five), Northstar Asset Management (two), Trillium Asset Management (four), and Walden Asset Management (four); religious investors Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (two), Sisters of Mercy (five), Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order (two), Sisters of St. Dominic (two), Sisters of St. Francis (three), and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (two); the public-policy group National Center for Public Policy Research (two); and the Nathan Cummings (two) and Park (three) charitable foundations.
According to Copland’s report, religious shareholder activists were responsible for 29 percent of all resolutions submitted to the 216 Fortune 250 companies. What type of proposals did the nuns, clergy and other religious submit? (more…)