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State Street Global Advisors to extend proxy voting choice to ETFs and mutual funds


State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation, has announced it will offer more investors, including those owning its US ETFs and US mutual funds, the power to choose a voting policy that directs the proxy votes of shares owned in the index equity funds in which they are invested.

The current program will expand to provide investors in all US institutional index equity funds offered by the firm in the US a range of voting policies so they can choose to direct how shares owned by the funds are voted.

Additionally, the firm writes that by partnering with a financial technology provider, State Street Global Advisors will give investors in certain US equity index SPDR ETFs and US mutual funds managed by the firm, which primarily hold US securities, the ability to direct the voting of the shares owned by those funds by giving investors in those funds the power to choose a proxy voting policy that applies to the voting of shares held by the funds.

The firm’s goal is to include all eligible index equity US SPDR ETFs and US mutual funds managed by the firm in the proxy voting program by the end of 2024.

“As the pioneering force behind many of the world’s first ETFs, we are proud to present yet another innovation that amplifies our ongoing mission to democratize investing,” says Yie-Hsin Hung, CEO of State Street Global Advisors. “By empowering individuals with the choice to direct the vote of the shares they own through an ETF or mutual fund, we are placing a powerful tool directly in their hands.”

In December 2022, State Street Global Advisors announced its initial expansion of proxy voting choice to 49 per cent of eligible index equity assets in separately managed accounts and certain institutional funds in the US and UK. With this new expansion, investors in 82 per cent of eligible index equity assets managed by the firm will have the ability by the end of the year to make choices in how shares held in the funds and separately managed accounts they own are voted.

The voting policies investors may choose from to direct the voting of shares held by the funds in which they are invested will be made available through Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a recognised independent proxy voting provider.

Similar to separately managed accounts, shareholders of institutional funds that are eligible for the program can continue to delegate their votes to the State Street Global Advisors Asset Stewardship team by choosing not to opt in to the firm’s proxy voting program and have State Street Global Advisors continue to vote the shares held by the funds in which they are invested.

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