As a part of a new pilot program, investors in three Vanguard equity index funds now have choices to participate more directly in the proxy voting process.
Investors who directly own stocks in a public company can already make their voice heard by voting on a range of matters raised at company shareholder meetings. These matters may include the election of the company’s directors, the ratification of the company’s independent auditor, and votes on executive compensation. There may also be proposals submitted by company management and other shareholders on a wide variety of matters.
Now, Vanguard is advancing ways to give investors options to direct how their index funds vote as well.
Beginning February 1, 2023, and running through June 30, 2023, investors in the Vanguard S&P 500 Growth Index Fund, the Vanguard Russell 1000 Index Fund, and the Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF will be able to select from four different proxy voting policy options. By participating in this voluntary pilot, investors will be able to direct how the fund votes on ballot items for certain of the fund’s largest holdings, proportionate to their ownership in that fund.
Whether held through Vanguard directly or as part of a portfolio held with another firm, eligible investors in these funds will soon receive an invitation to a secure website where they can select a proxy voting policy.