Shareholder Engagement and Proxy Voting

As long-term investors, our office is working to encourage companies to adopt responsible business practices, so that they are sustainable for years to come.

Each year, publicly-traded companies ask shareholders to vote on items that are pending on their annual proxy ballots. Shareholders are asked to vote on a range of issues, from the approval of boards of directors to shareholder proposals concerning social and environmental issues. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires investment managers to provide disclosure on how they vote proxies relating to portfolio securities they hold, along with their voting records.

Regrettably, countless investment managers and mutual funds fail to responsibly vote their proxies, either by not voting at all or by voting exclusively with managements’ recommendations.

In 2019, Treasurer Magaziner's office continued to engage with companies in our investment portfolio to encourage them to adopt more sustainable business practices. 

In collaboration with other concerned investors, we pressed pharmaceutical companies to strengthen board oversight, increase transparency, and update compensation metrics, particularly as these practices relate to opioid business risks.

We also reached agreement with Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest agricultural processors, to publish a report on the feasibility of adopting quantitative, company-wide goals for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, including increasing the use of renewable energy.

You can read an overview of our 2019 shareholder engagement activities here.

Proxy Voting Guidelines

At the Treasurer’s Office, we take seriously our responsibility to develop and communicate our proxy voting policies. Below is information on our proxy voting guidelines and information on our proxy votes during the most recent shareholder season.

Rhode Island Treasury's proxy voting guidelines reflect the fiduciary duty of the Rhode Island Treasurer’s Office to vote proxies in the best interest of our members and constituents. Our goal is to vote our proxies in accordance with both their financial interests and their values. You can download our current proxy voting policy here.