NILGOSC believes that, as a responsible investor, it has a legitimate interest in the management and corporate governance of the companies in which it invests and supports the use of voting as a means of expressing concern over environmental, social or governance (ESG) issues. By exercising its right to vote at company meetings, NILGOSC seeks to improve corporate behaviour by maintaining effective shareholder oversight of the directors and company policies, a process on which the current system of corporate governance depends.
NILGOSC has developed a Proxy Voting Policy, setting out NILGOSC’s policy on its expectations for good corporate governance in the companies in which it invests. This document outlines NILGOSC’s view on what it believes are the most important elements of good corporate governance and the principles which will be used to determine voting decisions on specific issues.
NILGOSC has been informed by best practice guidance set out in the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, UK Corporate Governance Code and other related governance best practice guidelines and corporate governance codes.
How NILGOSC Votes
NILGOSC has appointed Minerva Analytics Ltd as its corporate governance research provider and uses the detailed information and financial analysis provided to make informed voting decisions in line with the NILGOSC voting policies. Minerva casts votes electronically on NILGOSC’s behalf, in accordance with its bespoke voting policies.
NILGOSC supports the use of voting rights as a means of expressing concern over corporate governance issues. Many institutional shareholders choose to abstain from voting on a resolution rather than vote directly against it, believing that this approach will send a warning signal to a company. However, companies do not always disclose the level of abstentions, thereby portraying a higher level of support than it actually received on a particular resolution. NILGOSC believes that there should be no grey area when it comes to voting and has adopted a policy of not abstaining, except where market restrictions make it impractical to vote.