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Universities Superannuation Scheme - USS

PRI reporting framework 2018

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

Outputs and outcomes

LEA 21. Percentage of (proxy) votes cast

21.1. For listed equities where you and/or your service provider have the mandate to issue (proxy) voting instructions, indicate the percentage of votes cast during the reporting year.

Votes cast (to the nearest 1%)

98 %

Specify the basis on which this percentage is calculated

21.2. Explain your reason(s) for not voting certain holdings

          USS does not vote holdings sold between the record date and the date of the shareholder meeting (i.e. we avoid empty voting).
        

21.3. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 22. Proportion of ballot items that were for/against/abstentions

22.1. Indicate if you track the voting instructions that you and/or your service provider on your behalf have issued.

22.2. Of the voting instructions that you and/or third parties on your behalf issued, indicate the proportion of ballot items that were:

Voting instructions Breakdown as percentage of votes cast
For (supporting) management recommendations
Against (opposing) management recommendations
Abstentions
100%

22.3. Describe the actions you take in relation to voting against management recommendations.

          Please see our response under LEA 15.4 and 20.3
        

22.4. Additional information. [Optional]

In the twelve months ending December 2017, USS voted on 6,909 resolutions at 545 events at 472 companies (2016: 7,580 resolutions at 623 events at 521 companies).  

USS supported:

  • 38% of remuneration resolutions (44% in 2016)
  • 61% of auditor appointments (69% in 2016)
  • 52% of sustainability focussed resolutions (59% in 2016)
  • 40% of shareholder resolutions (45% in 2016)

USS voted “against” management’s recommendation on at least one resolution at 425 (90%) of companies (87% 2016).  Dissenting votes and comments for the engagement letters are discussed in advance with the relevant portfolio manager(s).

A letter outlining changes to USS’s UK voting policy was also sent to over 50 UK portfolio companies ahead of the proxy season (see SG 06.1)

With regard to the guidance note on abstentions, we are unable to identify where an abstention vote should be counted as a vote against.

Engagement letters are sent to companies ahead of the meetings in most instances, and translated into Japanese for our Japanese holdings. The letters detail the rationale behind our voting decisions, encourage improvements, and provide introductory information on USS’s approach to stewardship. Over the year, 255 engagement letters were sent to 239 companies (347 letters to 339 companies in 2016).


LEA 23. Shareholder resolutions

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

23.1. Indicate if your organisation directly or via a service provider filed or co-filed any ESG shareholder resolutions during the reporting year.

23.2. Indicate the number of ESG shareholder resolutions you filed or co-filed.

1 Total number

23.3. Indicate what percentage of these ESG shareholder resolutions resulted in the following.

Went to vote
Were withdrawn due to changes at the company and/or negotiations with the company
Were withdrawn for other reasons
Were rejected/not acknowledged by the company
Total 100%

23.4. Of the ESG shareholder resolutions that you filed or co-filed and that were put to vote (i.e. not withdrawn) how many received:

>50%
50-20%
<20%

23.5. Describe the ESG shareholder resolutions that you filed or co-filed and the outcomes achieved.

USS nominated its own candidate for supervisory board membership.  This resolution was ultimately withdrawn when the firm put forward their own candidate who was acceptable.

23.6. Describe whether your organisation reviews ESG shareholder resolutions filed by other investors.

We give careful consideration to all shareholder resolutions including those related to environmental and social issues.  USS supported 40% of shareholder resolutions in 2017.

We pre-disclosed voting intentions for Charles Schwab, Exxon, Pioneer and Occidental.

23.7. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 24. Examples of (proxy) voting activities

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

24.1. Provide examples of the (proxy) voting activities that your organisation and/or service provider carried out during the reporting year.

ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG Factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes

24.2. Additional information. [Optional]

See answer to LEA 18.2 for an explanation as to how USS has integrated environmental and social decisions into voting.


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