The next major category of SRI, shareholder activism, is more promising than any form of screening.– Atlantic Monthly, The Conscientious Investor
What we do
Investor Voice is a Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) that develops and implements robust shareholder engagement strategies for institutions, individuals, and non-profits. On behalf of clients we develop and file shareholder resolutions, engage with stakeholders, negotiate with company management, and present resolutions for votes at annual meetings of shareholders.
Investor Voice also provides lively and inspiring reports to a client’s stakeholders on the process, opportunities, and accomplishments of shareholder engagement. Additionally, Investor Voice is involved in legal-impact and policy-level work such as participating in Amicus briefs, writing opinion pieces, and lobbying Congress and the SEC.
Our shareholder engagement strategies are offered as stand-alone services, unbundled from investment management, custodial, or investment advisory products, services, or functions. We offer soup-to-nuts shareholder engagement, as well as a la carte services.
For examples of the work we do, please see our Successes page.
Overview / Background
Shareholder engagement – or shareholder advocacy / activism – is often described as the third leg of the 3-legged stool of social investment. The first leg is screening investments (avoiding certain types of companies or practices), the second is community investment or micro-credit lending (which delivers needed banking services and capital access to underserved groups or regions), and the third leg is shareholder engagement.
Through engagement, shareholders use their rights as owners to directly advocate for changes in company policies or practices – changes that can benefit a company’s reputation & profitability, in addition to the environment, communities, and people.
Active share owners have achieved an array of remarkably enduring outcomes – from ending Apartheid in South Africa, to saving the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge from strip-mining, to ensuring rights and fair treatment for people, to profitably reducing global pesticide use (for more details, see our Successes page).
These outcomes were achieved by filing shareholder resolutions with publicly-traded companies.
The right to file a shareholder resolution is granted under rules established by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). By filing a resolution, shareholder advocates use their position as owners of a company to open the boardroom door to ideas or voices that may not be routinely entertained there.
This makes shareholder resolutions a tremendously powerful tool to focus management’s attention on issues of importance to shareholders.
Who we serve
Investor Voice serves:
- Money managers & Investment advisors
- Mutual fund portfolio managers
- Endowments, Foundations & Donor Advised Funds
- Wealthy families & Individuals
- Public trusts & Pension plans
- Non-profit organizations
Why shareholder engagement?
Shareholder engagement is a positive force – whether used to advocate for changes that embrace or enhance long-term value, or to avoid circumstances that create liability to a business or brand.
Clients typically approach Investor Voice from one of several perspectives:
- Some are already sustainability-focused and oriented toward aligning their investments with mission, but are keen to meaningfully extend their reach so as to have a more enduringly beneficial impact on the issues that concern them most.
- Other clients – perhaps feeling pressure from their own clients, donors, or principles to address environmental, social & governance (ESG) concerns – find that shareholder engagement not only provides the greatest positive leverage, it does so without change to established relationships, nor (for investment advisors / mutual funds) altering how you calculate or report performance.
- Still others seek to expand their ability to serve growing markets of green or impact-concerned customers. Shareholder engagement offers the fastest way to enter new markets and to be seen as substantively committed – which is a critical litmus test for this increasingly sophisticated, loyal, and outcome-oriented segment.
For a deeper look at the uses and benefits of shareholder engagement, please visit our Benefits page.