timely opportunities to take action
about beta stewards
Pension funds and other asset owners must preserve their capital and earn sufficient return to satisfy obligations to retirees and other liabilities. Asset managers must help investors optimize their returns based on an acceptable level of risk. For owners and managers alike, returns are the result of three variables:
- The return of the market overall to the classes of securities within a portfolio (beta);
- The performance of the portfolio above or below beta based on the securities selected to be in the portfolio (alpha); and
- Asset management costs and fees.
Historically, asset owners and managers have focused on the second and third components and accepted beta as a factor over which they did not have control and for which they had no responsibility. The increasing recognition that the social and environmental systems upon which the global economy depends are at risk from corporate behavior demonstrates the deep flaw in that thinking—corporate behavior with respect to social and environmental systems affects the economy as a whole, and overall economic performance is a critical determinant of beta.
Moreover, shareholder activism in other areas demonstrates that shareholders can indeed affect behavior across corporations through voting and engagement. Thus, if shareholders can analyze the potential effects of their votes on corporate behaviors that affect the economy, they can—for the price of exercising a vote—make reasonable attempts to improve a critical facet of return.
Curious about Beta Stewardship? The first yearly edition of The Shareholder Commons’ (TSC) Beta Steward Proxy Review is out now.
click here to read and download the report
Shareholder Resolutions & Votes
TSC is supporting multiple proponents in filing shareholder resolutions with a beta stewardship lens. We are also monitoring other key votes on company proxies around the world that provide an opportunity for investors to vote according to a beta stewardship approach. We will be updating the list here regularly, so please check back often.
If you’d like to get involved in partnering on a resolution or guardrail, please get in touch through the “get involved” tab in the menu at the top of the page.
Together, we're embarking on a fundamental transformation of our financial system...