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).
- 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).