At LGIM, we vote in all major developed markets and the main emerging markets, covering c.97% of the FTSE All-World Index constituents by market capitalisation.
However, there are certain circumstances which cause us not to vote all of our holdings. This includes:
- stock lending (in the countries where we lend stock between 5 - 15% of shares held back will be voted unless we recall the stock). We do not lend stock in the UK.
- Non-voting shares held
- Restrictions on voting by foreign nationals
- Changes to power of attorney requirements.
In the US and Canada in proxy contests (which are rare and different to the normal filing of shareholder resolutions), shareholders have a choice between two proxy cards - one proposed by the management of the company and one proposed by a shareholder. Therefore, whichever one we choose not to vote on, a "Do Not Vote" is instructed. This is an active decision, since we would have chosen to vote (support) the other proxy card.
We also aim to minimise abstentions to make proper use of our voting powers. We have not abstained in any market in over 6 years, unless it was technically not possible to vote. In fact those rare cases only amount to 0.15% of total votes (73 out of 46,446) in 2017 and 0.09% of votes in 2016.