NZ Super Fund takes important step to improve transparency

Records of how the NZ Super Fund has voted at listed company AGMs are now available on the Fund's website.

Anne-Maree O'Connor, Head of Responsible Investment, says the move is a step forward for transparency, and in line with leading investment management practices globally.

Stakeholders can now see NZ Super Fund voting data by country and company right down to individual resolutions.

"The Fund's voting information will be useful for companies, investors and other stakeholders in the listed markets, and making it available on our website is consistent with our organisational commitment to transparency," says Ms O'Connor.

"Voting is a core part of the NZ Super Fund's responsible investment approach. Given its importance to shareholder oversight of directors and boards, our aim is for the Fund's votes to reflect the essential elements of good governance: transparency, board alignment with shareholder interests, long-term strategy, appropriate remuneration, business ethics and shareholder rights."

The NZ Super Fund's voting policy is guided by international standards such as the ICGN Global Governance Principles, the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and, for New Zealand listed companies, the New Zealand Corporate Governance Forum Guidelines and the NZX Code. The Fund is also advised by proxy voting service ISS and its external investment managers.

The NZ Super Fund has shares in around 6,000 listed companies globally, giving the Fund broad, diversified exposure to global markets. Most of these global equity investments are passively held, which means they are based on inclusion in broad market indices rather than manager selection. In New Zealand, the Fund's $1.8 billion of domestic listed equity investments are actively managed via mandates run by Devon Funds, Mint Asset Management and the Guardians' in-house team of investment professionals.

The voting data dates from 1 July 2018, and covers all the NZ Super Fund's holdings in listed equities, both in New Zealand and globally. It will be updated on an ongoing basis.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019