proxy voting FAQ
What is proxy voting?
Active Super invests in a diverse range of companies on behalf of our members. These investments, or shares, entitle us and other shareholders to vote on various issues proposed by a company at the company’s annual general meeting or at a special meeting. If a shareholder can’t attend a meeting in person, they can elect to vote using a proxy ballot.
As Active Super is committed to being an active owner on behalf of our members, we use these proxy ballots to vote on company proposals.
Examples of resolutions that might be voted on are the election of the board of directors, approval of executive remuneration plans, approval of capital raisings and risk management disclosure.
How does proxy voting influence the management of companies?
Proxy voting is an important mechanism that can enable shareholders to influence a company’s operations, corporate governance and capital structure. Voting on company proposals forms an avenue for shareholders to provide signals to the Board about their satisfaction with governance processes and performance of the company.
Who at Active Super is responsible for proxy voting?
The Active Super Investment Committee oversees the proxy voting process, with day to day implementation managed by the investment team, specifically the Head of Responsible Investment.
How does Active Super determine how to vote on ESG issues?
We consider the recommendations of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and CGI Glass Lewis when making our voting decisions, but we’re not afraid to stand alone when our opinion differs from other investors.
How does Active Super vote on investment related issues and shareholder proposals?
The Active Super Active Ownership Policy outlines the process we use when voting on investment related issues such as capital raisings and shareholder proposals.
Does Active Super vote at every annual meeting of companies in which it holds shares? Are there circumstances in which Active Super abstains from voting?
Active Super aims to vote for 100% of our investee company proposals. A rare situation that requires us to abstain from voting is when we are asked to ratify a private placement of shares in which our managers have participated.
Why does Active Super publish their voting decisions?
Active Super is committed to increasing the transparency and disclosure of how we invest our members’ contributions. The Australian Government’s Stronger Super reforms require superannuation funds to publish information on past voting practices. We have taken this one step further and are proactively disclosing our voting decisions before company meetings. By doing this we hope to engage our members and other stakeholders and raise member awareness about where their long-term savings are invested and how their rights as ultimate beneficiaries of the shares are being met.
Does Active Super engage with companies directly on ESG issues (in addition to proxy voting)?
It’s important that the companies we invest in are following business practices that align with our responsible investment principles. So, we monitor and engage with selected companies we invest in on ESG issues directly, and also indirectly through our investment managers and industry partners like the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and CGI Glass Lewis.
If you have any further questions about proxy voting at Active Super, please contact us.