1. Definition and monitoring of voting guidelines
Effective organisation of proxy voting requires preparation. Proxinvest team helps investors to define and write its own voting guidelines based on the investor preference and distinct views of certain aspects of corporate governance. The various voting criteria and activation thresholds that the investor wishes to apply must be defined beforehand, in line with the investor objectives. To this end, Proxinvest has developed an analytical grid in which more than 300 criteria can be combined and applied to each proposed resolution (more than 100 types of agenda items have been identified). With this customised voting policy – documented, auditable and applied to each holding in the portfolio – the investor is assured of a rigorous, equitable proxy voting procedure.
2. Proxy reports
As part of their fiduciary duties, investment managers must understand the long-term consequences of the resolutions proposed to shareholders of the companies in which they have invested. During proxy season, there will be several thousand resolutions to which investment managers will have to respond within very short time deadlines. Furthermore, when extraordinary general meetings are called, there will be complex financial transactions on which investment managers will have to make a judgement, independently and after due consideration.
Proxinvest proxy reports are available in French (“Lettre Conseil“) and in English (“ECGS report”).
For every general meeting, Proxinvest performs such analysis of the company and the resolutions submitted to a vote of the shareholders. This analysis includes a thorough examination of:
- the structure of direct and indirect control of the company,
- the shareholder protection measures provided for in the articles of association (by-laws),
- the details of any contracts that give rise to conflicts of interest,
- the legal and financial impacts of the proposed resolutions,
- the composition, organisation and degree of independence of the governing bodies.
- The remuneration practice of executives, non executive directors and auditors.
An independent, in-depth analysis of this kind is indispensable for investors to be fully informed and enables them to be more selective and achieve better performance.
3. Voting platform
Europroxy is a voting platform providing not only access to the proxy reports but also the integration of client portfolio, the online production of the proxy forms, the client voting records and the production of voting reports or different statistics required by the Financial Authority (AMF).
4. Corporate Governance Data and Rating
Proxinvest provides corporate governance data and/or Corporate Governance Rating over French and European companies which may be useful for benchmarking, rating, engagement, dialogue or within the stock selection process.
Proxinvest has developed a proprietary governance risk rating model named Proxinvest Corporate Governance Rating (PCGR ©), which analyses companies across a number of key governance indicators. This tool is intended to help investors select their stocks, build portfolio, identify key corporate governance risks and initiate dialogue with the issuers.
5. Engagement services
Proxinvest provides advisory services to help investors to define or implement a dialogue or engagement policy.
Proxinvest also provides advisory services to funds such as Proxy Active Investors, an open-end fund managed by Phitrust that has been at the forefront of shareholder activism for better governance in France over recent years.
6. Monitoring of the obligation to notify crossings of shareholding thresholds
To facilitate tracking and minimise the risk of failing to declare the crossing of a shareholding threshold, Proxinvest provides very large investor clients with various data files on listed companies.
Proxinvest serves as a research institute about general meetings and corporate governance practices, observing and recording the individual characteristics of resolutions and collecting voting results. Proxinvest annual survey on shareholders’ meetings provides an in-depth view of the votes observed at French general meetings on various contentious or non-contentious agenda items.
Proxinvest also publishes an annual report on executive and non-executive remuneration figures and practices.
In parallel, various research have regularly been implemented over the last years, for example reports about French audit practice or Corporate Governance Rating of French firms.
Those reports are generally published in French only and are available for sale at LDEL-Justicia library. A short summary is generally available for free on Proxinvest news.
8. Public policy
Proxinvest plays an active role in public policy and regularly submits responses to consultations issued by French and European policymakers and regulators. We also publish our own reform proposal to improve the French AFEP-MEDEF Corporate Governance code, Company law, governance and financial markets. Proxinvest helps investors to participate into those debates by sharing its views and identifying contentious matters.
For any information about one of Proxinvest services, please contact Charles Pinel, Head of Client Services : firstname.lastname@example.org – +33 (0)1 45 51 50 43