The Shareholder Association for Research and Education and Groupe Investissement Responsable Inc. are creating a joint venture to provide proxy voting services to institutional investors across Canada.
The partnership establishes a new corporation called GIR that will purchase the proxy voting businesses of both organizations, as well as the operations of the previous Groupe Investissement Responsible.
“By combining the best of both of our proxy voting services into one new entity, we are creating an even stronger service for both our clients,” said Kevin Thomas, chief executive officer of the SHARE, in a press release. “Now, more than ever, shareholder votes are having a significant impact on the environmental, social and governance practices of corporations. This is how we hold them accountable.”
SHARE and the previous owner of Groupe Investissement Responsable will retain a role in key decisions as part owners and members of the board. Thomas Estinès, who served as the previous GIR’s director of operations, and Étienne Lamy, who was an analyst at the organization, will be co-CEOs of the new GIR.
“If you don’t exercise your right as a shareholder, someone else will do it for you,” said Estinès, in the release. “We help institutions use that right to safely oversee their investments and promote long-term sustainability and value in their portfolio. Our decades of experience allow us to zero in on the issues that matter at each company you own and cast your vote according to your specific goals.”
SHARE will continue to provide shareholder engagement services to institutional investors and run advocacy, research and leadership development and mobilization programs.