ISS Retained to Assist With Proxy Voting (17 August)
POSTED ON: 17 August 2006
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund today announced it has retained Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) to assist in the management of its proxy voting.
To date, proxy voting has been delegated to the external investment management firms that manage the Fund's investments. With the growing number of external investment managers and securities, the Fund recognises that in order to meet its requirement to vote where possible it is necessary to centralise its voting.
The appointment of a single proxy voting agency will ensure votes are cast and that the Fund can report how it voted. It will also enable the Fund to vote proxies more consistently, and to hold the companies in which it invests accountable for good governance.
As part of the appointment, ISS will provide the Fund with independent research and objective recommendations on proxy voting in New Zealand. New Zealand investment managers will continue to provide the Fund with advice on how they would vote.
Outside New Zealand, ISS has been delegated to vote on the Fund's behalf following a set of agreed principles. The Fund will monitor the reasoning applied and action taken by ISS.
In centralising its voting, the Fund has also identified the need to clearly define its expectations for standards in corporate governance. Together with ISS, its external investment managers, and a number of other New Zealand institutional investors, the Fund has been involved in the development of a set of proxy voting guidelines that ISS will apply in the local market.
"As one of the largest shareholders in New Zealand, it's important we promote and encourage a high standard of corporate governance in the companies we invest in. The careful exercise of our proxy voting rights, guided by a well articulated set of principles and guidelines, should positively influence corporate behaviour and increase the long-term value of the Fund’s investments," said Chief Executive Officer Paul Costello.
Founded in 1985, ISS is a leading provider of corporate governance advisory services to financial institutions worldwide. It serves over 1,600 institutional and corporate clients, analysing proxies, and issuing informed research and objective vote recommendations for more than 35,000 companies across 115 markets.
For more information please contact:
Paul Costello, CEO, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, + 64 9 300 6980 Dean Paatsch, Director Operations, ISS Australia, + 61 3 9642 2062 or + 61 412 485 787
Notes to Editors:
For more information on ISS, visit www.issproxy.com