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 2018, Treasurer Magaziner's office engaged with companies in our investment portfolio; working in collaboration with other concerned investors to push for diversity among corporate board members and voting against proposed executive pay packages at dozens of companies where compensation and performance did not match.

Our office led a coalition of investors who are fighting on behalf of student loan borrowers. We successfuly engaged with energy companies, leading to additional disclosure about how they use shareholder money to lobby state and govenment officials, as well as increased transparency regarding payments to industry organizations that promote climate change denial.

You can read an overview of our 2018 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.