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Dear Friend:

I know we have told you that the 2019 CPA-Zicklin index showed continue growth by the nation's largest companies on corporate political disclosure. But, now we know, that mutual fund support for the Center for Political Accountability’s corporate political disclosure resolution continued to rise steadily in 2019 as well, even as the Big 3 institutional investors – BlackRock, Vanguard and Fidelity – remained outliers in their opposition.

The Wall Street Journal highlighted CPA’s analysis in its Business and the 2020 Elections newsletter. We wanted to make sure that you saw it.

CPA found that support jumped to 56.0 percent from 52.7 percent in 2018, according to analysis based on the Morningstar Fund Votes Database. The heightened support continued to build on the strong momentum of the 8.2 percentage point increase from the 2017 to 2018 proxy seasons.

In contrast to the Big 3’s opposition, the other institutional investor behemoth, State Street, increased its support over last year.

The increased institutional investor support paralleled the jump in average support for CPA’s resolution. For 2019, it hit 36.4%, up from 34% last year.


Sincerely,


Bruce F. Freed
President
 


ELECTION+BUSINESS
Good afternoon! Welcome to the last 2019 edition of our weekly look into what’s at stake for American business in the 2020 election. I’m Theo Francis.

This week, we see just how steeply CEOs lean Republican, dig into mutual-fund support for greater corporate political transparency and talk with Washington-bureau trade and economics writer Jake Schlesinger to understand what the new North American trade pact means for the candidates.
 

Chart of the Week: Political Funds

Investors have increasingly backed shareholder proposals that push companies to provide more detail about their campaign spending, and mutual-fund managers are ahead of the curve. Support for the proposals has grown in each of the last two years among 45 big fund companies that manage more than $40 trillion globally, including such giants as Fidelity, BlackRock and Vanguard, according to an analysis of fund votes on 33 such proposals by the Center for Political Accountability. The Washington, D.C., nonprofit advocates for increased political-spending disclosure. Fund-group support varies widely, however: This year, 22 supported at least 80% of the proposals and nine voted against all of them. Two years ago, a dozen fund groups fell into each camp.

— Theo Francis
 
CPA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization created in November 2003 to bring transparency and accountability to political spending. To learn more about the Center for Political Accountability visit www.politicalaccountability.net.
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