Dimensional uses several escalation mechanisms in the event it has a concern about a portfolio company's corporate governance practices. If Dimensional has concerns that the corporate governance practices of a portfolio company are not consistent with our clients' best interests and the preservation of the value of their investments, we will vote accordingly and have often dissented from the recommendations of management on proxy matters. As Dimensional's clients together can constitute a large shareholding, we believe that our votes have a voice that portfolio company boards and management are sensitive to.
If negative corporate governance practices persist following the exercise of proxy voting in accordance with Dimensional's Proxy Voting Policies and Guidelines, our Investment Stewardship Group may follow up directly with management or the company board to ensure that the company understands the importance we place on good corporate governance.
Another method of escalation is that if we think that the actions of the directors of a portfolio company are not in the best interests of shareholders, we may decide to vote against those directors that lost our trust not only in any proxy for the portfolio company but also in any election for directors at any other company they are, or may attempt to be, directors. We then communicate this decision to the portfolio company and its board.
Separately, we also escalate directly through letter campaigns directed to portfolio companies on specific corporate stewardship concerns. In general, our priority is to escalate in situations where we believe a conflict of interest exists between management and shareholders.
On a broader scale, we escalate general governance matters through our participation at industry conferences sponsored by the Council of Institutional Investors, the Harvard Corporate Governance Roundtable, and International Corporate Governance Network, among others. We believe this platform allows our voice to be heard in a broader manner and may have more impact at an industry level.