In the past, for all public equity securities held directly by the Pension Fund and the Endowment, UTAM delegated proxy voting to its external managers according to each manager’s own proxy voting policy. Although we reviewed these policies and each manager’s voting record annually, this was a more passive approach.
We have determined that the best way we can vote proactively and deliberately is by taking back voting responsibility from our managers and by engaging a third-party proxy voting service provider to vote according to our beliefs. This allows us to better respond to shareholder proposals related to ESG, including those aimed at reducing climate-related risks. Accordingly, in September 2016 we engaged Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) for proxy voting services and adopted their Sustainability policy and guidelines, where possible, to all direct public equity investment mandates (i.e. where public equity securities are held in the name of Pension or Endowment), and to public equity pooled funds in which Pension and Endowment are the only investors (i.e. where pooled funds are held in the name of Pension or Endowment and these pooled funds, in turn, hold public equity securities).
ISS’s 2018 Sustainability guidelines for U.S. and International issuers are included below.