Chief Investment Officer of the Regents
Investors have an important role to play in influencing the quality, sustainability and continuity of companies and markets. We believe that it is our responsibility to use our voice as shareholders to promote transparency and disclosure, corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability in order to help ensure a healthy economy and preserve our ability to achieve sustainable long-term returns.
We partner with external fund managers, other asset owners, and industry initiatives to magnify our voice and influence as shareholders.
Voting rights are important to fiduciary responsibility as a means to promote good corporate governance which align with our interests and goals as long term investors. The Office of the Chief Investment Officer believes that prudent exercise of voting rights promotes long term shareholder value. The duty of prudence includes considerations based on financial criteria, as well as prudent governance, social and environmental practices.
Under proxy voting policies and procedures approved by the UC Regents Board of Trustees, the University of California votes “according to proxy voting guidelines developed by our third party advisor.” At this time, the Regents has approved that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) will manage the proxy voting process for the UC OCIO on the basis of Socially Responsible Investment guidelines. As part of a full review of our policies and procedures, our compliance team has reviewed the 2016 ISS guidelines and finds them generally in alignment with our own UC Framework for Sustainable Investing.
One example is our commitment to active ownership is our support for both the Framework for U.S. Stewardship and Governance and for the Japan Stewardship Code, to which the Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents is a signatory.