Principle 6 - Our policy on voting and voting disclosure
Standard Life investments votes all shares for which we have voting authority except when otherwise instructed by the beneficial owner of these shares or where, for practical reasons such as share-blocking, this is not appropriate. We use our Global Voting Platform to achieve this. Our Global Voting Platform makes use of the services of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) who is a reputable provider of proxy voting research and voting recommendations. Although ISS have their own voting guidelines, we provide our own house guidelines to establish a custom policy which they are required to follow when making voting recommendations for the portfolios which we manage. For any significant holdings we separately undertake a detailed assessment of any voting opportunity and for minor holdings we rely on the voting recommendations determined by ISS in line with our custom policy. In addition, we also review any vote against management proposed by our advisers with the exception of de-minimis holdings.
We implement considered policies based on the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Investment guidelines approved by our board when voting the shares we manage. We seek to vote our clients' shares in a manner consistent with their best interests. We generally support a board's voting recommendation but we do vote our clients' shares against resolutions which are not consistent with their best interests as shareholders and/or conflict with the spirit of Investment Association (IA) or other institutional guidance. When making voting decisions, we also make use of the IA’s Institutional Voting Information Service (IVIS).
In the event that we vote our clients' shares against a resolution at a UK shareholder meeting, we use best endeavours to discuss this with the company beforehand and explain the reasons. We use reasonable endeavours to do so in respect of abstentions.
We do not currently offer a stock lending service to our customers. Certain customers separately arrange the lending of stock held in their name. Should a customer have stock out on loan it is their responsibility to make arrangements for it to be recalled should they wish voting to occur. However, in certain circumstances, where there may be a significantly sensitive and contentious vote, SLI may request the stock of a company to be recalled from loan so that it may be voted in line with our instruction.
We disclose our global voting records on our website.