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Hooray! JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon Fires Leftist Proxy Vote Advisers

Most major money management firms — which oversee trillions of dollars of Americans’ pension and retirement assets — rely on the two big proxy advisory firms, ISS and Glass Lewis, in determining how to vote on shareholder resolutions. There’s a big problem here. These firms give awful advice that is often contrary to these firms’ fiduciary duty of earning a high return for their clients. For example, in CTUP’s landmark Pension Politics report card both ISS and Glass-Lewis received grades of F.

These firms should stop using ISS and Glass-Lewis because of their leftist bias.

Apparently, Jamie Dimon, the long-time CEO of JP Morgan, is taking this to heart. This week in his annual letter to shareholders he pledged to fire these “advisories.” He also said that shareholder meetings have become three-ring circuses:

One of the reasons it is less desirable to be a public company is because of the spiraling frivolousness of the annual shareholder meeting, which has devolved into mostly a showcase of grandstanding and competing special interest groups. . . .

While asset managers and institutional investors have a fiduciary responsibility to make their own decisions, it is increasingly clear that proxy advisors [ISS and Glass.-Lewis] have undue influence. . . .

Some [asset managers] have argued that it’s too hard and too expensive to review the large number of proxies and proxy proposals — this is both lazy and wrong. If issues are important to a company, they should be important to the shareholder — for the most part, only a handful of proposals are important to companies.

Dimon pledges that by the end of this year, JP Morgan’s asset management unit plans to eliminate third-party proxy advisor voting recommendations.

Our job at CTUP is to make sure every other major money management firm does the same so we can end the scourge of ESG anti-capitalism.

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