Investment managers are delegated responsibility to exercise voting rights on behalf of the Authority but the Authority retains the ultimate voting right.
Managers are required to vote in the interests of the Fund and their voting record is monitored. New Zealand managers are required to advise the Authority of their voting intent where the issue is likely to be publicly contentious, against the recommendation of an approved proxy voting service or give rise to a conflict of interest. In such cases, Management may direct the manager’s votes under delegation from the Board.
Managers’ voting record is summarised on the website every six months.
What is this?
Shareholders of a stock generally have the right to cast 1 vote for every share they hold at company meetings. Issues that are voted on include appointing or removing directors and their fees. For us, proxy voting is only carried out for stocks that are part of segregated mandates, not unit trusts.
How we vote
We place the responsibility of proxy voting in the hands of our external global and domestic investment managers. They are the most well informed and therefore best positioned to vote on the various decisions. The domestic managers often inform us if they are going to vote against the recommendation of a dedicated Proxy Voting Service provider, so that we have the opportunity to provide input.
The importance of voting
Voting rights are important for shareholders to retain their oversight of Board members and directors, and company policies. It is important that we exercise our voting rights and do so in alignment with our Responsible Investment Policy (embedded in the SIPSP) to ensure we are meeting our obligations under the policy and initiatives we are a signatory of.