Why We Vote Every Share We Own
One of our most important rights as public company investors is the right to vote. For that reason, we vote every share of every company we own at every shareholder meeting. We ensure that our votes are cast in a manner consistent with our Corporate Governance Principles and Proxy Voting Guidelines and in the best economic interests of company shareholders over the long term.
Visit Governance Basics to learn more about corporate governance in general.
Visit Proxy Votes to see our voting decisions.
Before voting, we consult a variety of sources, including all relevant company filings and research materials. We may survey our portfolio managers to determine their perspectives on issues. Contentious issues or positions are regularly discussed with senior management in the Investment Division as well as the President and Chief Executive Officer. Where appropriate and necessary, we contact the company for additional information or clarification.
We generally provide a rationale for our voting decisions when voting against a management recommendation or if the proposal is non-routine in nature. Explanations of our voting intentions are disclosed on this website in advance of the meeting date.
How We Decide: Our Corporate Governance Principles
Ontario Teachers' developed a comprehensive set of corporate governance principles to guide our proxy voting and to encourage companies to take actions that we believe, in the long run, are in shareholders' best economic interest. We believe well-governed companies apply these principles to their corporate governance structure and demonstrate consistency with them in their decision making.
Download a copy of our Corporate Governance Principles and Proxy Voting Guidelines.
Ontario Teachers' Corporate Governance Principles and Proxy Voting Guidelines are reviewed annually by our Board's Investment Committee. They articulate how we intend to vote on issues across four broad categories:
- Board of Directors (including independence, separation of board and management and board size)
- Management and Director Compensation
- Takeover Protection
- Shareholder Rights
Our principles and guidelines are a widely referenced tool used by corporate directors and managers as well as other investors. That said, our guidelines are guidelines only. They evolve as conditions change and are applied giving consideration to individual company circumstances.
Responsible Investing Beyond Voting
As engaged owners, we continually monitor a company's financial and non-financial performance after an investment has been made. Visit our Principles and Practice page to learn more about how our responsible investment principles are put into practice at various investment stages.
We engage in a number of activities – some regular and ongoing, others on a case-by-case basis, including:
- Encouraging regular dialogue with companies
- Examining and assessing the ability of the board of directors to make effective decisions that are in the best interests of the corporation
- Collaborating with other investors to improve governance and disclosure
- Entering into targeted discussions with companies when the situation warrants
Important Legal Notice
We are transparent in our proxy voting activities. This website is designed to provide information to plan members, co-sponsors of the plan and others. It shows how we intend to vote our proxies in response to solicitations by either the management of the companies in which we own voting shares, or others.
Our decisions on each proxy matter are based on our Corporate Governance Principles and Proxy Voting Guidelines, the due diligence and analysis that we have conducted and the conclusions that we have reached as a single investor. We urge all investors to conduct their own evaluations of these issues and to arrive at the decisions that best meet their own investment objectives.
By providing our decisions on this website, we do not intend to solicit the proxy of any other shareholders nor do we request any other shareholder to execute, not execute or revoke the proxies that have been solicited by management or anyone else.
Good Governance is Good Business
Ontario Teachers' is actively involved with international governance-minded organizations and is a founding member of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance.