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The WSIB believes a strong corporate governance program is a cornerstone of asset stewardship. This includes active support of corporate governance measures and prudent proxy voting practices—all aimed at enhancing shareowner value on behalf of WSIB’s beneficiaries.

Effective corporate governance relies on efficient shareholder engagement and monitoring to foster transparency, responsibility, accountability and market integrity. Empirical research points to the impact of responsible governance practices, demonstrating that companies with strong corporate governance tend to produce higher returns at more prudent levels of risk.

The WSIB believes that the mission of maximizing investment returns comes with the responsibility of maintaining vigilant oversight over the management policies and practices of the companies in our portfolios. As a long-term investor, the WSIB recognizes the importance of promoting and influencing long-term growth disciplines across the entire investment value chain. Therefore, active participation and collaborative dialogue with corporate leadership is a vital part of WSIB’s role as a responsible asset owner.

As one of the country’s largest institutional investors, the WSIB believes the proxy voting ballot is one of the most effective tools for positively influencing companies toward greater board accountability, genuine transparency and increased focus on long-term growth strategies. The WSIB also works collectively with like-minded investors, corporate leaders and industry organizations to advance important environmental, social and governance (ESG) positions, practices and proposals.
Proxy Voting Report (Note: 2017 and earlier only contain the top 300):
Proxy Voting Policy and Guidelines
2017 Proxy Voting Highlights:
The WSIB voted on 3,602 U.S. corporate meetings in 2017.
Proxy votes were cast on 35,681 individual proposals dealing primarily with the election of directors (62.58 percent), ratification of auditor (9.09 percent) and advisory vote on executive compensation or “say on pay” (8.15 percent).
The 2017 corporate governance program resulted in the WSIB voting to oppose 337 of 2,328 advisory proposals on executive compensation (14.48 percent) and to oppose 95 of 731 equity compensation plans (13.00 percent).
In the broader marketplace, record levels of shareholder support emerged as many investors called for increased disclosure on how companies are planning to mitigate climate change risks and attendant regulations.

For the first time, three shareholder proposals related to climate change reporting received majority support at Exxon, Occidental and PPL.

The WSIB supported all three of these climate change risk resolutions, as well as 4,620 of the 5,127 (90.11 percent) of the climate change-related shareholder proposals in our voting system for U.S. companies.
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