Have regulators got proxy advisers wrong?
Andrew Gebelin, senior director of proxy research for Glass Lewis, says the call for regulation of proxy advisers considered to have too much influence over institutional investors’ voting is based on a misunderstanding about the real role these firms play in the formation of voting policy.
‘While there is some correlation between our views on some issues, it’s certainly not a determinant of any vote,’ he says.
Speaking on prevalent concerns around ESG, he adds that IROs must make sure they talk to the right people about decisions on these standards, as they can often be overlooked before emerging in votes at shareholder meetings. The earlier IROs talk to shareholders ahead of proxy season, the easier and more comprehensive the resulting annual investor meetings will be.