More evidence in the wake of our report card “Putting Politics Over Pensions,” the big money managers are increasingly rejecting leftwing ESG shareholder resolutions brought by climate change and social justice warriors. We rejoiced when we read that the country’s second-largest fund manager, Vanguard, just reported:
During the 2023 proxy year, we saw a larger number of environmental and social shareholder proposals put forward for a vote at the funds’ U.S. portfolio companies: 359, compared with 290 in the 2022 proxy year. The funds supported just 2% of such proposals in the 2023 proxy year (down from 12% in the 2022 proxy year)… The most common subject of those proposals was target-setting for greenhouse gas emissions. Other common proposal topics focused on climate lobbying and fossil fuel financing.
It wasn’t just Vanguard and Blackrock that are worried about their CTUP grades and the bad publicity attached to receiving an F or a D. A report by the Financial Times several weeks ago found that the percentage of firms voting for ESG proposals fell by almost half this year. Fox Business analyst Charlie Gasparino writes this week that ESG is dying on the vine.
We’d call all of this real progress. One investment officer at one of the five largest Wall Street banks with more than $1 trillion of pension and retirement assets, tells us: “Our goal is to get an A on the next CTUP report card.”