Vanguard cast more than 171,000 individual votes at nearly 13,000 companies in 68 countries for the 12-month period ending June 30th, making the firm one of the most influential investors in public companies. Its recent Investor Stewardship Report and letter to CEOs highlights two key governance priorities.
Engagement is a vital component of Vanguard’s approach, as it held 954 engagements with 680 companies. Companies should be aware when talking with Vanguard that the topics discussed more than half of those times include the composition of boards, governance structures and executive compensation. While board diversity has long been an important focus, the report states that companies should be prepared to discuss, in their public disclosure as well, their plans to incorporate diversity over time into their board composition.