The Growth of Proxy Advisors: A Debate
The growth of passive ETF strategies has also led to an increased concentration of proxy advisor voting rights amongst a handful of large firms. While these votes can be used for social good, this more activist approach begs certain questions:
- If a “passive” investment firm exercises its rights to influence, should it still be considered passive?
- What is the company’s position if it is not aligned with that of the end unitholder?
- What conflicts of interest arise and how are they managed?
- What impact does this activist approach have for both the fund and the firm?
- Darin Renton, Partner, Stikeman Elliott
- Steve Hawkins, President & CEO, Horizons ETFS
- Amy Freedman, Chief Executive Officer, Kingsdale Advisors
- Jeff Olin, President & CEO, Vision Capital
- Talbot Babineau, President & CEO, IBV Capital
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