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About TSC

the shareholder commons is a non-profit advocate for diversified shareholders

whom we serve

The Shareholder Commons (TSC) addresses social and environmental issues from the perspective of shareholders who diversify their investments to optimize risk and return. Our advocacy focuses on the divergence that often emerges between a company’s interest in maximizing its cash flows over the long term and its shareholders’ interests in optimizing overall market returns.

our theory of change

The most important factor determining diversified portfolios’ long-term value is the economy’s intrinsic value, not individual portfolio companies’ relative financial performance. Accordingly, individual company behavior that harms the economy threatens diversified investors, even when that conduct might increase the company’s own long-term value.

But the structure of markets today focuses investors almost entirely on the effect company decisions have on the company itself: shareholder ESG (environmental, social, and governance) activism generally seeks “win-win” changes in corporate behavior that will both improve a company’s social and environmental impact and increase its enterprise value. This strategy implicitly permits business plans that harm social and environmental systems and, consequently, diversified shareholders, as long as those plans maximize value at the enterprise level.

TSC provides tools to diversified shareholders that allow them to prioritize the preservation and enhancement of systemic value. These tools will improve financial returns and better align the financial sector with the global economy’s needs.

our mission

TSC’s mission is to help diversified shareholders to reprioritize their activism to put social and environmental systems first. Our work demonstrates that shareholders (or managers who represent their interests) have the capacity to force substantive change at companies to improve the economy and thus diversified shareholders’ returns. We seek to catalyze the development of shareholder-created guardrails: minimum rules of conduct that level the playing field.

Tsc in the news

Investors push food companies to go greener, Sarah Murray, Financial Times, October 19, 2021


ESG round-up: Meta sued for prioritizing profits over investors and society, Fiona McNally, Responsible Investor, October 4, 2022

Why the Energy Crisis is Triggering an Investment Rethink, Vibeka Mair, Capital Monitor, September 7, 2022

From Meta to Twitter, What Everyone Gets Wrong About ESG — And Why It Matters, Frederick Alexander, Institutional Investor, August 24, 2022


Pfizer set to face Covid-19 vaccine shareholder votes, Ben Maiden, Corporate Secretary, March 7, 2022


Shareholders Like Any Old Merger, Matt Levine, Bloomberg, February 14, 2022


The ESG Mirage, Cam Simpson, Akshat Rathi, and Saijel Kishan, Bloomberg, December 9, 2021


Alpha, Omicron: Why?, Craig Lazzara, Indexology Blog, December 2, 2021


On System Stewardship, Matt Levine, Bloomberg, Fall 2021

“Investors ‘Turn Up The Heat’ On SEC Over Voting Rights”,  Neanda Salvaterra, Agenda, August 27 2021

“NGO seeks investors for universal owner-based proxy advice drive“, Susanna Rust, Investment and Pensions Europe, Aug 24, 2021

“The 2021 Proxy Voting Season in 7 Charts”, Jackie Cook, Lauren Solberg, Morningstar, August 5, 2021

“Think tank calls for stricter fiduciary mandates on money managers”, Hazel Bradford, Pensions and Investments, June 30, 2021

“Getting Back To Business”, Russ Greene, Adam Millsap, City Journal, June 15, 2021

“Investors May Not Be Satisfied With Business As Usual”, Neanda Salvaterra, Agenda, June 14, 2021

“Boards Face Rash of Public Benefit Proposals”, Neanda Salvatera, Agenda, May 10, 2021

“The 2021 proxy season: What’s on the menu?”, Aman Singh, BusinessGreen, May 7, 2021

“Shareholder Activism: Woke Capitalism From The Inside”, Robert Stilson, The American Conservative, Apr 19, 2021

“Beta Activism: Benefit Corporations and External Cost Disclosure”, Frederick Alexander, Sara E. Murphy, Proxy Review, Mar 16, 2021

“Curing systemic portfolio risk through shareholder resolutions”, Paul Hodgson, Responsible Investor, Mar 8, 2021

“Bank of England’s climate mandate has global resonance”, Patrick Temple West, Financial Times, Mar 5, 2021

“An Introduction to Activist Stewardship”, Robert Eccles (Oxford University), Aeisha Mastagni (CalSTRS), and Kirsty Jenkinson (CalSTRS), Mar 1, 2021

Press releases

Together, we're embarking on a fundamental transformation of our financial system...