None of the 100 largest U.S. mutual funds voted in 2006 to support shareholder proposals calling for more corporate disclosure on the financial impact of climate change, according to analysis Ceres commissioned from Institutional Investor Services. All 28 of the investment management companies responsible for the nations 100 largest funds including Fidelity, Vanguard and American Funds, which manage 55 of them abstained or opposed all shareholder resolutions in 2006 seeking greater corporate disclosure on the financial risks and opportunities from climate change, according to the Ceres report.
Vanguard typically abstains from voting on environmental and social issues unless they have a significant tangible impact on the value of the funds investments, John Woerth, Vanguard spokesman, said in an interview.
Chuck Freadhoff, media relations coordinator at Capital Research and Management, adviser to the American Funds, said, We look at each issue individually and make a decision We disclose our proxy votes, but we dont discuss the reasoning behind our votes.
Fidelity spokesman Vincent Loporchio said, "Our mutual funds are managed with one overriding goal: to provide the greatest possible return to fund shareholders. ... If it is shown that an environmental risk, for example, poses a real and measurable risk to a particular company's future earnings, that could well be a factor taken into account in an evaluation of the overall investment merits of a particular company."
Ceres is a network of investors and environmental and other public interest groups.