Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and disruption caused by the pandemic, Vanguard remained committed to effective stewardship by interacting with thousands of board members and company leaders in the first half of 2021.
We sought to understand their decision-making around the topics and trends that have shaped the global governance landscape in recent months, including the risks associated with the pandemic; workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion matters; and shareholder concerns about the global climate crisis.
We engaged with directors and other stakeholders on a range of issues, all of which are anchored to our four principles of corporate governance: board composition, shareholder rights, executive remuneration and strategy and risk oversight.
Vanguard’s Investment Stewardship team engaged with 734 companies in 29 countries and voted on 137,826 proposals at 10,796 companies in the six months ended 30 June 2021. A more detailed breakdown of the funds’ voting and engagement record can be found in our latest Investment Stewardship Semiannual Report.
Our engagements carried out on behalf of Vanguard’s internally managed equity funds - investments that represented nearly $1.9 trillion in equity assets under management - show the power of staying invested over the long term.
We discussed a range of governance matters, including capital allocation and executive compensation; social issues, which remained in the spotlight as we saw an increase in shareholder proposals on diversity, equity and inclusion topics; and climate-related risk.
We also engaged on corporate political activity, and human rights. By focusing on matters of material risk to investors, we look to keep corporate boards focused on long-term value creation for their shareholders.
Overall, our Investment Stewardship semiannual report demonstrates the important role that index funds can play in advocating for good governance. In addition, we can confirm our recent approval as a signatory of the UK Stewardship Code - a leading global standard for investment stewardship practices.
To learn more about Vanguard’s approach to investment stewardship, watch our CPD-accredited webinar here.
Investment risk information
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Issued by Vanguard Asset Management, Limited which is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.
© 2021 Vanguard Group (Ireland) Limited. All rights reserved.
© 2021 Vanguard Investments Switzerland GmbH. All rights reserved.
© 2021 Vanguard Asset Management, Limited. All rights reserved.