For UK listed companies, we vote our shares in accordance with a set of bespoke UK Voting Principles. For other markets, we consider the recommendations and advice of our Stewardship service provider. EOS at Federated Hermes provides us with voting recommendations based on our voting policy which are input on the voting platform prior to the vote deadline. The voting recommendations are then cast as voting instructions if there is no further intervention, except in the case of share-blocking votes.
We establish a "Voting Watch List" annually that consists of between 70 - 100 companies that represent our biggest holdings across equities strategies. The list serves several purposes, including being a sample that tests whether our votes are cast in alignment with our Voting Principles. In the majority of cases we have voted in direct alignment with the voting recommendations from our Stewardship service provider. In a minority of cases we have taken a different view to their recommendation. Our voting principles do allow room for interpretation and we have found no evidence that our Stewardship service provider recommends votes that run contrary to our core beliefs of good governance as expressed in our Voting Principles.
During 2019, our Stewardship provider established a set of Global Voting guidelines, supplementing various regional voting policies across key markets. LGPS Central provided input to these guidelines and several of our comments reflected in the final guidelines.