Performance-Based Proxy Voting

As I often do when speaking before groups of people about proxy voting and corporate governance, I asked this question: “What do you do with your proxies?” The answer, which you can probably predict from your own experience is, “I throw them away.”

The follow on question I pose evokes a bit more complex response but a common thread usually emerges. “Why do you throw them away?” Almost to a person the reason is that people simply don’t understand how to vote on the issues. Fearing that they might do something stupid, most people opt for the trashcan.

To solve this information problem, I propose to offer a series of proxy voting strategies that are simple in form, don’t require much time to figure out and get the job of voting your proxy done with relatively little pain.

Here is my first strategy.

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Now that’s not too complicated is it?

I realize that some readers might find this approach too simplistic. But given that most people don’t take the time to vote, I hope this approach will provide a means for investors to become more engaged in the governance process.

Let the debate begin . . .

About John Richardson

John Richardson is the CEO of JMR Portfolio Intelligence, a Washington DC based human rights consultancy.
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