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BlackRock Voting Support Dips for E and S Resolutions

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, supported a smaller share of environmental and social-themed shareholder proposals this proxy season compared to previous years. BlackRock Investment Stewardship’s (BIS) ‘2023 Global Voting Spotlight’ noted the firm supported 9% of all shareholder resolutions it voted on globally during the 2022-23 AGM season, which includes 7% of 399 resolutions on issues including climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion. The year prior, BlackRock supported 21% of all ESG-related shareholder proposals. In 2021, it supported 47% of 172 ESG shareholder proposals. “In part because of the proliferation of lower quality [E and S] proposals reaching the ballot, median market support for shareholder proposals in 2022-23 was significantly lower than the prior year (15% for US E&S shareholder proposals, down from 25%),” the report said. Describing some of this year’s proposals as prescriptive, repetitive or lacking in “economic merit”, it also said “companies have made notable progress on their disclosure and management of material business risks and opportunities”. BIS said the asset manager is committed to investing and innovating in stewardship to support long-term value creation for clients and “will continue to take a fiduciary approach”. 

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