<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=3906484&amp;fmt=gif">

Pass-through voting: exploring its significance and potential impact on the investment industry

In the world of corporate governance, voting rights hold significant importance. They allow shareholders to express their opinions and influence the decision-making process within the companies they invest in.  

One approach that has gained attention in recent years is pass-through voting. Here, we’ll provide an overview of what pass-through voting entails, why it is important, and how it could change the investment industry if implemented more widely. 

Understanding Pass-Through Voting 

Pass-through voting refers to a mechanism that enables shareholders to pass their voting rights directly to an appointed party, such as a proxy advisor or asset manager. Instead of exercising their votes individually, shareholders transfer their authority to these intermediaries, who then aggregate and cast the votes on their behalf. 

Importance of Pass-Through Voting 

  1. Enhancing Efficiency: Pass-through voting can streamline the voting process, particularly for institutional investors who hold shares in numerous companies. By delegating voting rights to a trusted entity, shareholders can save time and resources while ensuring their voice is heard on various corporate matters. 
  1. Specialised Expertise: Proxy advisors or asset managers who receive pass-through votes often possess specialised knowledge and expertise in corporate governance matters. This enables them to provide informed recommendations on voting decisions, potentially leading to more informed and effective outcomes. 
  1. Amplifying Shareholder Influence: Pass-through voting allows shareholders to consolidate their voting power. This can be particularly beneficial for smaller investors who may not have the resources or time to actively engage with multiple companies in their portfolio. By pooling their votes, shareholders can collectively influence corporate policies and decisions. 

Potential Changes in the Investment Industry 

  1. Increased Proxy Advisor Influence: As pass-through voting gains traction, proxy advisors may see their influence grow. These intermediaries play a crucial role in interpreting complex issues and advising shareholders on voting matters. Their recommendations carry weight and can significantly impact the outcome of shareholder votes. 
  1. Heightened Focus on Voting Policies: With the rise of pass-through voting, there is likely to be increased scrutiny of voting policies and practices. Shareholders may become more discerning in selecting proxy advisors or asset managers, considering their track record, methodologies, and alignment with their own values and priorities. 
  1. Encouraging Active Shareholder Engagement: Pass-through voting could stimulate greater engagement between shareholders and their appointed intermediaries. Investors may seek to understand the rationale behind voting decisions made on their behalf, fostering a more transparent and collaborative relationship with proxy advisors or asset managers. 

Pass-through voting presents an alternative approach to traditional individual shareholder voting. By delegating voting rights to trusted intermediaries, shareholders can streamline the voting process, leverage specialised expertise, and amplify their influence.