Monday, 20 December 2010

Another reason why we need mandatory voting disclosure

You just can't do this (PDF) kind of analysis in the UK, because too many asset managers either don't disclose their voting record, or disclose votes in an unhelpful format. As usual, much respect to FundVotes which gathers voting data disclosed under the mandatory regime in the US to enable analysis of voting trends to be undertaken.

I personally don't believe you can really take an informed view of how asset managers do stewardship unless you take a look at their voting (so how do investment consultants deal with this?). Whilst it's a fair point that some see voting as a minor element of their engagement, clients (and potential clients) ought to be able to see this, and see how it compares with other potential providers.

At present in the UK the only way of taking an informed view of asset managers is to have a look at the work done by people like the TUC and Fair Pensions (notably both of which push for mandatory disclosure!). If we have a mandatory regime we could have also sorts of interesting reports on different aspects of voting behaviour.

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