Investor-issuer dialogue is the foundation of good stewardship – it allows for trusting relationships to be built over time, permitting candid solution-oriented discussions about issues that might not otherwise be addressed. Dialogue, however, is a two-way street and there are times when stronger measures are necessary to encourage a company to come to the table and discuss our concerns.
When a step-up of monitoring activity is required to ensure protection and enhancement of our clients’ interests and shareholder value, BNPP AM can decide to, inter alia, make public statements, propose shareholder resolutions, call an extraordinary general meeting or intervene jointly with other institutions.
These decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that our concerns have been properly heard and dealt with.
For example, in 2019, we co-filed a shareholder resolution with other shareholders of Exxon Mobil. The resolution sought disclosure of the company’s carbon emissions targets in order to align with the Paris Agreement, limiting temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius.
The resolution was not proposed at the general meeting, as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted the company’s request to exclude the proposal from its proxy statement. We signed a letter to the SEC to express our dissatisfaction with this decision, in concert with other shareholders managing $9.5 trillion in assets. We voted against the full board in order to express our concerns to the company over its strategy on climate change, and remain in dialogue with Exxon Mobil as part of the Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) collaborative engagement.