Exercising voting rights and responsibilities
The overarching purpose of our voting is to protect and promote the rights and long-term interests of our clients as shareholders. As such, we consider it our responsibility to hold companies and their executives accountable for their decisions. We aim to support a strong culture of corporate governance, effective management of environmental and social issues and comprehensive reporting according to credible standards.
For our equity funds, the following principles define the scope of accounts and securities eligible for proxy voting:
- For actively managed funds, we aim to vote on 100 per cent of equity holdings.
- For passive strategies, we aim to vote on companies representing 80 per cent by weight of underlying benchmarks. This target may be revised upwards or downwards for specific strategies depending on factors such as portfolio size, geography or market capitalisation.
- For segregated accounts, including mandates and third-party (i.e. sub-advisory) mutual funds managed by Pictet Asset Management, clients delegating the exercise of voting rights to us have the choice between our policy or their own voting policy.
For our multi asset funds, voting takes place on the underlying equity funds managed by Pictet Asset Management. We also aim to vote where we have direct holdings in companies.
Our proxy voting guidelines, included within our Responsible Investment Policy, apply to all our investment strategies (we have not set any strategy-specific voting policies or guidelines) and are based on generally accepted standards of best practice in corporate governance. These include board and management, executive remuneration, risk control and reporting, and shareholder rights. The standards give a benchmark for assessing companies and exercising our active ownership duties throughout the life cycle of an investment, from pre-investment phase to engagement, proxy voting, up to the point of exit.
As active managers, we place significant importance on how we vote. The long-term interests of shareholders are our paramount objective. On occasion, we may vote against management if we believe that doing so is in the best interests of shareholders and our clients. Where we do this, we classify the vote as significant, in line with the EU Shareholder Rights Directive II, and we publicly disclose our rationale as part of our quarterly vote reporting. We also reserve the right to deviate from our voting policy to take into account company-specific circumstances.
The following charts provide an overview of Pictet Asset Management’s 2022 voting activity. These are aggregated data compiled during the year.
2022 aggregated votes
In 2022, Pictet Asset Management voted at 3’576 general assembly meetings out of 3’677 votable meetings for active and passive equities. We voted "against" (including "abstained" or "withhold") to at least one resolution at 1’641 meetings and we did not vote at 101 meetings.
Out of 42’540 management resolutions we voted against management on 4'401 items (10%), supported management on 37'718 items (89%) and voted "abstain" on 421 items (1%).
We voted against management on resolutions that relate primarily to director election (46%), compensation (21%) and director related (10%)
We voted against 527 shareholder resolutions out of 1’139 proposals (45%).
The main categories of shareholder resolutions that we didn't support relates to social (34%), corporate governance (19%) and environmental (17%) issues.
We supported 603 shareholder resolutions out of 1’139 proposals (53%).
The main categories of shareholder resolutions that we supported are director election (25%), audit related (12%) and environment (10%).
Deviations from voting guidelines
In 2022 we deviated from third-party recommendations on 218 resolutions. The main categories we deviated were related to director election (98 resolutions), directors-related (43 resolutions) and non-salary compensation including shareholder approvals of compensation related matters (42 resolutions).
Both our annual and monthly voting records can be viewed here: