Canadian Money Managers Join Push for Stronger US Corporate Governance

The U.S. based Investor Stewardship Group has issued a framework consisting of corporate governance and stewardship principles. The Group – which includes BlackRock Inc., the Vanguard Group, T.Rowe Price Group Ince, RBC’s Asset Management division and MFS Investment Management – released the principles for institutional investors on January 31, 2017. While the corporate governance principles apply to corporations, the stewardship principles are meant to apply to institutional investors themselves. One of the governance principles is that “Shareholders should be entitled to voting rights in proportion to their economic interest…” In other words, the Group does not favour multi-voting share structures that characterize over 80 companies on the TSX and that have been popular in Canadian IPOs over the last few years (see comments on Aritzia’s IPO here). Having reviewed the Group’s principles, FAIR Canada is concerned about the increasing number of multi-voting corporations undertaking IPOs in Canada and the impact of this structure on shareholder democracy more broadly.

February 06, 2017