Climate risk disclosure and gender diversity on corporate boards are key issues attracting majority support from institutional investors, according to a new survey by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.
Its latest global benchmark policy survey generated 400 respondents from institutional investors, corporate executive and others in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. It found 61 per cent of respondents said board diversity is “essential” to effective corporate governance. A similar proportion (60 per cent) said companies should be evaluating and disclosing their climate-related risks. And only five per cent of investors said climate risks are too uncertain for companies to assess.
On the issue of directors sitting on too many boards, 42 per cent of respondents said four boards should be the limit for non-executive directors, while 45 per cent said two board seats is the appropriate maximum for chief executive officers.
In late October, the ISS will release, for comment, draft voting policies for the upcoming proxy season. Its policies will be finalized in November for shareholder meetings starting Feb. 1, 2020.