A number of clients have decided to participate in stock lending programmes. Stock lending aids market liquidity and allows clients to maximise revenues from their holdings. However, the attendant transfer of voting rights along with the lent shares means that additional scrutiny is required to ensure that lent shares are not put to purposes that are detrimental to the long-term interests of the shareowner. Shares will not be lent where the objective of such activities is to vote at general meetings.
We will recall shares in advance of general meetings in the following circumstances:
› where we wish to register our full voting interests, even if the issues are not deemed to be controversial;
› where we have engaged or are engaging actively with a company;
› where companies are seeking shareholder approval for transformational transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, face hostile actions including takeover bids, where shareholders have requisitioned general meetings or put items on the agenda which we consider to be detrimental to our interests or where we wish to support such items; or
› where the issue at stake represents a serious threat to shareholder rights or interests.
From 2020, AXA IM intends to recall shares in advance of general meetings to exercise our full voting rights for open ended funds and mandates.