Pax World Funds, the socially responsible investment firm, predicts a tidal wave of controversy stemming from newly disclosed proxy voting rules and has stoked the fire by publishing guidelines aimed at helping investors decipher the information.
"The disclosure of how mutual fund companies vote their shares on major social
and bottom-line issues including board accountability, separation of chairman and CEO duties, global warming and diversity is going to be a real gut check for many investors, who may find what they learn to be extremely unsettling," said Anita Green, vice president of social research.
Pax World, a longtime proponent of proxy disclosure, is potentially embarking on a negative publicity campaign against larger competitors that strongly opposed the new rule. terms of shareholder proxy votes that should be of particular interest
to mutual fund investors, Pax World Funds highlighted the following five
topics: 1) Annual election of directors, 2) Separation of chairman of the board and CEO positions, 3) Risks associated with global warming, 4) Independent auditors and 5) Board diversity.