State Street Global Advisors for the first time will extend its proxy voting choice program to some of its U.S. exchange-traded funds and U.S. mutual funds as part of a program expansion announced Monday, an SSGA spokesman confirmed.
SSGA’s current program will expand to provide investors in all U.S. institutional index equity funds offered by the firm in the U.S. with a range of voting policies enabling them to direct how shares owned by the funds they invest in are voted, SSGA, State Street Corp.’s asset management business, said in a news release.
In addition, through a partnership with a financial technology provider that the spokesman declined to name, SSGA will give investors in certain U.S. equity index SPDR ETFs and U.S. mutual funds managed by the firm the ability to direct the voting of shares owned by those funds by giving fund investors the ability to choose a proxy voting policy, the release said.
“By empowering individuals with the choice to direct the vote of the shares they own through an ETF or mutual fund, we are placing a powerful tool directly in their hands,” said Yie-Hsin Hung, CEO of SSGA, in the release
In December 2022, SSGA unveiled its initial expansion of proxy voting choice to cover 49% of eligible index equity assets in separately managed accounts and certain institutional funds in the U.S. and the U.K., the release said.
With the expansion announced Monday, investors in 82% of eligible index equity assets managed by SSGA will have the power by the end of this year to make choices regarding how shares held in the funds and separately managed accounts they own are voted, the release said.
SSGA’s goal is to include all eligible index equity U.S. SPDR ETFs and U.S. mutual funds managed by the firm in the proxy voting program by the end of 2024, the release said.
An ETF that’s not eligible for the program, however, is the one SSGA is most known for – the $391.9 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust. The fund, known by the ticker SPY, is ineligible due to its structure as a unit investment trust, the spokesman said.
The voting policies investors can pick from to direct the voting of the shares held by funds in which they invest will be made available via Institutional Shareholder Services, an independent proxy voting provider, the release said.Source: ETF EXCHANGE