Our process for voting proxies begins with education. Through various means, we educate ourselves on issues likely to affect voting. Education allows us to categorize issues into those explicitly covered by our policies, those that follow from the spirit of the policies and the firm, and those that require a new decision.
When considering a new issue, we may review information and recommendations from the company, from advocates, from our service provider Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), and others. Decisions are made by the investment team and reviewed periodically by the Proxy Committee. We vote in a manner that we believe is in the best interest of the funds' clients and shareholders.
A defining characteristic of the firm's responsible investment approach is active ownership. The firm uses proxy voting as a way to engage with management and impact a company's policies. Another form of active ownership at Parnassus Investments is direct engagement with portfolio companies. The firm's engagement style has always been collaborative. Parnassus Investments believes that the firm can be most effective by giving management the flexibility they need to make corporate decisions, while also engaging them on key ESG issues.