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How Big Fund Families Voted on Climate Change: 2020 Edition

Vanguard, State Street, and Fidelity increased support for shareholder resolutions aimed at tackling climate change, while BlackRock voted 'no' more than 80% of the time.

Jackie Cook 12.10.2020

Support for resolutions requesting climate-related disclosures, of which there were only 14 in 2020, rose at Fidelity, State Street Global Advisors, and Vanguard but fell at American Funds and BlackRock (BLK) from 2019. Support for a broader set of resolutions that incorporate climate governance considerations show a similar ranking among the most influential investment fiduciaries. With their massive amounts of money under management, these firms are often among the largest shareholders at many of the world's biggest companies. Their yay or nay votes frequently make the difference between a shareholder proposal passing or failing.

While 2020's results mark a higher level of support than BlackRock had given such proposals from 2016 through 2018--when its backing never made it to double digits--the 2020 level of "for" votes was down to 14% from 25% in 2019.

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About Author

Jackie Cook  is director of sustainability stewardship research for Morningstar.

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