Morningstar Article Highlights Activist Voting Trends

In a recent Morningstar article, authors Alyssa Stankiewicz and Lindsey Stewart examine how two active managers on opposite ends of the environmental, social, and governance spectrum, Strive Asset Management and Engine No. 1, voted in the 2023 proxy year. Both Engine No. 1 and Strive offer exchange-traded funds that track broad market indexes. It is important to note that “[t]hese funds don’t apply any ESG criteria—for or against—in their portfolio construction; rather, they advocate for investor values through proxy voting and engagement.” On the pro-ESG side, there were 222 shareholder proposals that went to a vote at S&P 100 companies during the 2023 proxy year. The article found that “67 of those resolutions received more than 30% support from independent shareholders. Engine No. 1 supported all but one of these resolutions while Strive voted against 100% of the pro-ESG resolutions on which it voted. Anti-ESG shareholder proposals have also been on a rise, Engine No. 1 voted against all 47 of these proposals while Strive supported 30. Interestingly, Strive took a strict stance against CEO re-elections. Of the 92 CEO elections that it voted on (there were 94 elections of S&P 100 companies last year in total), Strive withheld support from 60 of the 92 such proposals it voted on, backing only 32.

Click here to read the Morningstar article “Strive Asset Management vs. Engine No. 1: How Did the Activists Vote?”