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Church of England Pensions Board

PRI reporting framework 2017

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Active Ownership » (Proxy) voting and shareholder resolutions » Overview


LEA 17. Voting policy & approach

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.

17.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a formal voting policy.

17.2. Indicate what your voting policy covers:

17.3. Attach or provide a URL to your voting policy. [Optional]

17.4. Provide a brief overview of your organization’s approach to (proxy) voting.

Voting is conducted internally with a dedicated staffing resource with a full time Voting and Screening Manager. This role is central to overseeing all voting on all holdings against our agreed voting policies. The policy is reviewed and further developed each year. It is also submitted to Trustee Committees for formal approval. To ensure that Church investors magnify the impact of their voting we seek to align our policy with other UK Church investors.

We use the ISS platform to log our votes. We engage with our proxy provider each year on the voting policy. This is an extensive discussion to ensure that they understand our particular requirements. We have a dedicated provision within the proxy provider to provide bespoke reports against our policy. This ensures that the service provider interprets our policy correctly. The internal staff member then checks votes as a further quality control.

We also answer queries from companies about our voting policies.

17.5. Provide an overview of how you ensure your voting policy is adhered to, giving details of your approach when exceptions to the policy are made (if applicable).

We have a clear voting policy and when areas emerge that diverge from the instructions these are referred to the Voting and Screening Manager.  The Manager then reviews them to consider if they can be addressed in accordance with our policies or if further judgement is needed by the Head of Engagement.  Issues can be elevated further to the CIO and even Trustees if of particular importance and variance on a policy issue.  Each year we monitor the number of referrals to identify if further clarification is required on the detailed voting template.  We also review effectiveness of our voting provider on an annual basis.  This year also saw the voting process audited by our internal auditor which concluded that the processes we have in place provide 'substantial assurance' to Trustees.