Why proxy voting is important
Voting rights are important for maintaining shareholder oversight of directors, boards and company policies. They are therefore central to our practice of responsible investment and to meeting our obligations under our governing legislation in relation to best practice portfolio management and managing risk. We exercise our voting rights globally across the Fund's segregated equity portfolio.
How we vote
The broad principles are set out in the voting guidelines of our elected proxy voting agency and our investment managers represent the essential elements of good governance. Such principles include transparency, board alignment with shareholder interests, remuneration, business ethics, and maintaining voting rights.
Our overseas external investment managers have been directed to exercise voting rights for overseas equities on our behalf. Overseas voting is based on our voting agency's international proxy voting guidelines, or those of our managers.
For our New Zealand equity holdings, we consider the recommendations of both our proxy voting agency and our New Zealand investment managers, but we make the final voting decisions.
While we will generally vote as set out in these guidelines, in special circumstances we may respond to specific issues on a case-by-case basis.
Corporate Governance Principles
The Fund is a founding member of the New Zealand Corporate Governance Forum. The Forum supports the Principles published in the FMA’s Corporate Governance Handbook for Directors which form the basis for the Forum’s Guidelines.
The FMA Principles and the Forum guidelines cover a much broader range of topics than those voted at AGMs and whilst informing our voting decisions, they are primarily a tool for our analysis and engagement with companies.