Shareholder Engagement and Proxy Voting

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. Unfortunately, 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.

At the Rhode Island Treasurer’s Office, we take seriously our responsibility to develop and communicate our proxy voting policies. Below is a link to our updated proxy voting guidelines and information on all of our proxy votes for the most recent shareholder season.

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. In 2017, Treasurer Magaziner continued to push for diversity among corporate board members; engaged with Wells Fargo after their massive consumer fraud affected millions of Americans; fought to uphold consumer’s rights to have their student loan debt restructured to fit their income; and told energy companies to ‘come clean’ about practices aimed at influencing lawmakers who are tasked with regulating their industry.

You can read an overview of our 2017 shareholder engagement activities here.

Proxy Voting Guidelines

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.