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NEI Investments

PRI reporting framework 2020

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Active Ownership » (Proxy) voting and shareholder resolutions

(委任状による)議決権行使および株主決議

LEA 12. Typical approach to (proxy) voting decisions

12.1. (委任状による)議決権行使を通常どのように決定しているかを明示して下さい。

アプローチ

以下に基づいて行う

          We use our own proxy voting guidelines for North American holdings and our service provider's guidelines for international holdings.
        

12.2. 合意された議決権ポリシーがどのように遵守されているかを概観し、ポリシーの例外が適用された場合(該当する場合)のアプローチの詳細を示してください。

Our Proxy Voting Guidelines are used to vote the proxies of all holdings in North America, while we utilize the ISS SRI guidelines for international holdings. NEI retains the right to vote proxies and regards the proxies we hold on behalf of our unit holders as significant corporate assets. We make use of external research providers for proxy voting analysis. Our ESG analysts review proxy information and third-party analysis and execute the proxy voting process for our funds. Items on the agenda are individually reviewed and analyzed. The final voting decision is influenced by our guidelines, internal analysis and consideration of how we believe we can best advance corporate governance good practice at each company.

The guidelines are designed to be responsive to a wide range of issues that can be raised in proxy situations. Because we cannot anticipate every proxy item, as well as specific guidelines for certain commonly-arising matters, we have established general principles for assessing proposals. Many proposals require case-by-case vote decision-making. In these situations, we look to our ESG Program criteria and corporate engagement goals for direction.

Our guidelines are oriented to the North American markets to which we are most exposed. Some guidelines are specific to certain focus markets, and we may modify our approach on a case-by-case basis, depending on the level of compliance to local market laws and corporate governance best practices that a company demonstrates.

Because of our strong position on many ESG issues, we frequently vote against the recommendations put forward by company management. However, we see no value in voting against management for its own sake. Where we are able to vote with management because standards of governance are improving, we view that outcome positively.

Our Guidelines are reviewed every two years to determine if an update is required, based on developments in corporate governance or the regulatory landscape. We may publish amendments between full updates.

Our vote notes outline where we have made exception to our guidelines and the rationale for our decision. We collect data to be able to track exceptions, to enable us to determine if our guidelines need to be updated.

12.3. 補足情報[任意]


LEA 13. Percentage of voting recommendations reviewed (Not Applicable)


LEA 14. Securities lending programme

14.1. 貴社では、セキュリティーズレンディングを設定していますか?

14.3. 貴社の証券貸付プログラムで投票の問題にどのように対処しているか示してください。

14.4. 補足情報 [任意]

Securities lending transactions are subject to the requirements of the Canadian securities administrators and the agreement that we have entered into with our securities lending agent.  These requirements are designed to minimize risk and they include the following:

  • The Manager may lend Canadian and U.S. securities in a manner that is consistent with the Fund’s investment strategies and as permitted by securities law, in which case it will aim to recall all loaned securities by the record date for the purpose of voting. The Manager does not intend to lend securities outside of these markets as this may affect its ability to vote on behalf of our unit holders.
  • The borrower of the securities must provide collateral permitted by the Canadian securities administrators worth at least 102% of the value of the securities loaned.
  • The Funds will only deal with borrowers who have been approved by the Manager and the securities lending agent and the borrowers will be subject to transaction and credit limits.
  • No more than 50% of a Fund’s assets may be loaned in such transactions.
  • The value of the securities and collateral will be monitored daily.
  • The Fund may only invest the cash collateral in qualifying securities (such as Canadian and U.S. government debt securities and debt securities with a prescribed credit rating) having a remaining term to maturity of no more than 90 days.
  • If a borrower fails to return securities, our securities lending agent will pay to the Fund the market value of those securities.
  • Internal controls, procedures and records will be maintained.
  • Securities lending transactions may be terminated at any time.

 


LEA 15. Informing companies of the rationale of abstaining/voting against management

15.1. 報告年度内に関与した議決権行使のうち、貴社、または貴社の代理を務めるサービスプロバイダーが議決権行使に先立って企業に懸念を表明したものの割合を示してください。

15.2. これらの企業に対し、議決権行使に先立って懸念を表明した理由を示してください。

15.3. 補足情報 [任意]

We take a strong line on corporate governance issues, given the established link between good governance and corporate performance, and as a result we are obliged to vote against management fairly frequently, although through dialogue we have encouraged many companies in our holdings to enhance their practices in such a way that we are able to support management in our voting.

As a result, it is not practicable for us to reach out directly to warn every company where we are considering a vote against management. We especially prioritize advance voting outreach to companies to which our funds are significantly exposed, significant holdings (over 1% of the company float), companies in selected target markets, and companies facing votes on specific ESG issues on which we are engaging and where our perspective may be helpful.

All companies can access our vote decision and rationale through our public voting database. We conduct outreach to ensure that companies know where to find our guidelines and database.


LEA 16. Informing companies of the rationale of abstaining/voting against management

16.1. 貴社または貴社の代理を務めるサービスプロバイダーが、議決権行使を棄権する場合、または経営陣の提案に反対票を投じる場合に、当該企業にその根拠を伝えた議決権の割合を示してください。これは行使可能な全議決権の中で占める割合とします。

16.3. 貴社が議決権行使を棄権するまたは経営陣の提案に反対票を投じる根拠を伝える場合、この根拠を公表しているか示してください。

16.4. 補足情報[任意]

Our votes and rationales are immediately made public through our proxy voting database, and we direct companies where to find this information, recognizing that it can be challenging for companies to identify beneficial owners. We also reach out proactively to provide more detailed analysis of our vote decisions to selected companies in the context of our engagement program.


LEA 17. Percentage of (proxy) votes cast

17.1. 貴社やサービスプロバイダーが(代理)投票の指示を発行するマンデートを有している上場株式について、報告年度中に行った投票の割合を記載してください。

1%単位の投票率

97 %

この投票率の計算基準を明記してください

17.2. 一定の株式保有分について議決権を行使しない理由を説明して下さい:

We make best efforts not to vote where we have sold the holding and no longer have an economic interest.

17.3. 補足情報[任意]

Where practicable and in the best interest of the funds, we endeavour to vote all proxies where we retain an economic interest at the time of voting. We make best efforts to identify ballots where we have sold the holding between the record date and the meeting date, and not to vote these proxies.


LEA 18. Proportion of ballot items that were for/against/abstentions

18.1. 貴社または貴社の代理を務めるサービスプロバイダーが出した議決権行使に係る指示を追跡しているか示してください。

18.2. 貴社または貴社の代理を務める第三者が出した議決権行使に係る指示のうち、各投票項目の占める割合を示してください。

議決権行使に係る指示の対象
投票の内訳(%)
経営陣の提案に対する賛成票
70 %
経営陣の提案に対する反対票
30 %
棄権
0 %
100%

18.3. 貴社が経営陣の提案に対する反対票を投じたケースにおいて、貴社がエンゲージメントを行った企業の占める割合を示してください。

18.4. 補足情報 [任意]

We take a strong line on corporate governance issues and as a result we are obliged to vote against management frequently, although through dialogue we have encouraged many companies in our holdings to enhance their practices in such a way that we are able to support management in our voting.

We were not able to answer LEA 18.3 as we do not have easy way to collate the number of ballot items voted against management with the number of companies engaged overall by the dialogue program. However, we do engage companies post-vote to explain how we voted and to encourage them to adopt stronger governance practices. Because of the number of votes we cast against management, it would be infeasible to engage all of the companies where we voted against management, so we take a more directed approach and engage our significant holdings or focus on companies where we had significant governance concerns.

All companies can access our vote decision and rationale through our public voting database.


LEA 19. Proportion of ballot items that were for/against/abstentions

19.1. 不首尾に終わった議決権行使後の正式なエスカレーション戦略が貴社にあるか示してください。

19.2. 棄権後、または経営陣に反対する票を投じた後に貴社が用いるエスカレーション戦略を示してください。

19.3. 補足情報 [任意]

We consider votes against management to be one of the various tools we can use to express our level of satisfaction. In some cases the vote against is the escalation of a dialogue that is not advancing - for example, we may vote against directors when they have failed in oversight of a critical ESG concern and the company is not responding to dialogue. In this case the vote against directors is the escalation strategy itself - and if dialogue with senior management has stalled, applying pressure to the board is another angle to apply pressure on the company. In other cases we initiate dialogue as a result of a vote against - for example, we have concerns about the composition of the board put forward for election at the AGM, vote against specific nominees and reach out to the company to explain the vote against. Diversity engagement is often initiated by our proxy voting program, and we use the vote against management as the jumping off point to begin the dialogue. However, we do not escalate every dialogue based on a vote against management - this would be impractical considering the number of votes we cast against management.


LEA 20. Shareholder resolutions

20.1. 貴社が報告年度中に、直接もしくはサービスプロバイダーを介して、ESG株主決議を提出または共同提出したか示してください。

20.2. 貴社が行ったまたは共同で行ったESG関連株主決議の数を記載してください。

6 合計

20.3. 以下の結果をもたらした、これらのESG関連株主決議の数の割合を記載してください。

議案に採用された
50 %
企業側での変更または企業との交渉により撤回された
50 %
別の理由で撤回された
0 %
企業側により拒絶された/受け入れられなかった
0 %
合計 100%

20.4. 貴社が提出または共同提出したESGの株式決議で議案に採用された(撤回されなかった)ものに対する賛成票の割合を選択してください。

1 50%超
20〜50%
20%未満

20.5. 貴社が提出または共同提出したESG関連の株主決議で、結果が達成されたものについて説明してください。

Note that at the time of filling out the PRI report, only one of the three resolutions that were not withdrawn had been put to a vote. The other two had still not been voted.

Alphabet: We co-filed a resolution asking the company to develop board oversight of human rights issues. Our concerns stemmed from serious risks the company faces in regard to privacy, the use of AI, and freedom of expression. It has not been voted on yet.

Chevron: We co-filed a resolution with the company asking the company to commission a third party report assessing the effectiveness of Chevron's efforts to prevent, mitigate and remedy human rights concerns. It has not been voted on yet.

BP: We co-filed a resolution with the company asking the company to align its business strategy with the goals of the Paris Accord. The company supported the proposal and it passed with 99% support.

20.6. 貴社が他の投資家によって提出されたESG株主決議を審査するかどうかについて説明してください。

Our principles for reviewing shareholder proposals are set out in our proxy voting guidelines. Proposals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, considering the following principles.

The following are considerations to vote for a shareholder proposal.

  • The proposal addresses a clear risk or opportunity for the long-term sustainable value of the company (for example, demonstrated by controversies, litigation, fines, or research by reputable sources).
  • The proposal supports values to which we are committed (such as international standards, norms, conventions, and fundamental rights that we endorse).
  • The proposal will enhance disclosure on key issues allowing us to better assess the company’s exposure to risk and opportunities.
  • The company’s current response to the issue raised in the proposal makes it an outlier compared to peers.
  • The company’s rebuttal of the proposal is unconvincing.
  • The proponent has made good faith offers to engage the company on the issue, but the company has refused to engage, or it has not been possible to reach a withdrawal agreement.

20.7. 補足情報[任意] 

Note that we see filing a resolution (with the exception of management-supported resolutions) as a tool to move a stalled dialogue forward. Generally speaking, we do not initiate a dialogue through the filing of a resolution but instead seek to engage the company in dialogue first. Where that dialogue comes to an impasse, or where the company refuses to engage, we file a resolution. As a result, we do not find ourselves filing many resolutions in a given year in large part because companies have become quite responsive to our engagement, thus making the need for filing a resolution moot.


LEA 21. Examples of (proxy) voting activities

21.1. 報告年度に貴社またはサービスプロバイダーが実行した(委任状による)議決権行使の例を提供してください。

ESGトピック
Executive Remuneration
意思決定者
目的

Excessive and Inequitable Compensation

In evaluating executive compensation, we look for:

  • a quantum of pay that is enough to retain and motivate talented executives of high integrity, but is not excessive or inequitable;
  • clear linkage of pay to performance against the company’s strategic objectives based on financial, environmental and social metrics of long-term value;
  • good structure and disclosure that allows shareholders to make informed decisions on pay and allows stakeholders to understand the board’s compensation decision-making process;
  • adoption of generally-accepted compensation good governance practices.

To address excessive executive compensation in North American markets, our guidelines include a cap on the level of compensation that we can support, tied to median household income in the market.

対象範囲およびプロセス

Details of the excessive compensation guideline can be found on our website:

https://www.neiinvestments.com/pages/responsible-investing/esg-difference/proxy-voting/ 

If CEO total compensation falls in the quantum range of concern, in principle we will vote against the compensation package unless we find evidence of internal equitable compensation practices intended to ensure that employees across the whole company enjoy excellent pay and conditions. Equitable compensation practices could include efforts by the compensation committee to tie executive pay to pay across the broader workforce, such as the use of various types of vertical metrics in setting compensation.

If CEO total compensation exceeds the quantum range of concern, we will vote against the compensation package. We will also vote against the incumbent members of the compensation committee if there are no equitable compensation practices in place. We used the excessive compensation rationale to vote against pay packages and/or directors at close to 50 companies in 2019.

Several Canadian companies have adopted vertical compensation metrics in response to our engagement.

結果
ESGトピック
Diversity
意思決定者
目的

Enhancing Board Diversity

We believe that improved representation of women and minorities on the boards of listed companies is both in the interests of corporate performance and a matter of social justice.  Our objective is that all companies in our holdings should have boards that are diverse from both an identity perspective and in terms of expertise to oversee the full range of material issues facing the company, including ESG issues. Specifically, we wish to see companies nominate or at least set targets for at least 30% each of female and male nominees to the board.

対象範囲およびプロセス

We have long voted against nominating committee members at Canadian companies where there is no gender diversity on the board, and for the past four years we have prioritized proxy feedback to these companies, sharing detailed perspectives with the boards on good practices in board diversity. Among large-cap Canadian companies in our holdings, in 2018 so few companies remained with no women on the board that for 2019 we have raised our expectations for board diversity at these companies: we now expect them to nominate at least two women to the board.

A number of the companies we have engaged on the topic of diversity have improved their performance and either nominated women to the board or revised their diversity policy to include targets.

結果
ESGトピック
Human rights|Pollution|Health and Safety|Water risks|Labour practices and supply chain management|Anti-bribery and corruption|Deforestation
意思決定者
目的

OECD Due Diligence

We draw on established norms to define our approach to responsible investment, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines, a corporate responsibility standard endorsed by the Government of Canada.

We have been working to integrate the OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors guidance to our practices, including proxy voting. The guidance calls on institutional investors to undertake due diligence and exercise leverage to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts by investee companies in relation to human rights and labour rights, the environment and corruption.

対象範囲およびプロセス

We withhold or vote against a director nominee who serves as the incumbent chair of the committee responsible for corporate responsibility issues at a company that has failed to address a significant ESG concern and has not responded to engagement. (Where no such committee exists, we may withhold from the chair of the board.)

We may withhold or vote against the entire board if the board has failed to address very significant environmental or social concerns that pose material risk to the value of the company.

結果
ESGトピック
Climate Change
意思決定者
目的

Considered Voting on Climate Proposals

We support shareholder proposals on environmental and social issues that we believe to be in the best long-term interests of stakeholders, including shareholders and the corporation. The range of topics that may be raised through environmental and social shareholder proposals is so wide and so fast-changing that it is no longer practical to set out specific guidelines in this area. We vote these proposals on a case-by-case basis, looking for direction to:

  • our basic principles for assessing shareholder proposals (see LEA 20.6 for details);
  • our ESG Program criteria and corporate engagement goals and objectives;
  • our commitments to support specific conventions, norms, standards and initiative.

In relation to climate-related shareholder proposals, sources of direction include the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, the Climate Action 100+ collaborative engagement and ESG program objectives relating to a socially-just, well-managed transition to a low-carbon economy.

対象範囲およびプロセス

We vote climate-related shareholder proposals on a case-by-case basis, considering each proposal on its merits. Over the past three years we have voted for around 75% of climate change proposals, abstained/withheld around 15% and voted against about 10% where we felt the proposal was moot or poorly-targeted or we did not agree with the proponent's proposed approach to tackling climate risk at the company.

結果

21.2. 補足情報[任意]


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