Firm Performance and Mutual Fund Voting
37 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2010
Date Written: April 7, 2008
We employ a new comprehensive proxy voting records database to investigate whether mutual funds consider prior firm performance when they vote on a diverse range of management- and shareholder-sponsored proposals relating to governance, compensation, and director election. We argue that prior firm performance plays a role in the monitoring effort of mutual funds as they fulfill their fiduciary duties. Results show that voting is related to prior firm performance for selected management and shareholder proposals and that it is consistent with Institutional Shareholder Services’ recommendations. Mutual funds support management (shareholder) proposals less (more) when prior firm performance has been weak. Furthermore, even when mutual funds deviate from their fund family’s voting policies, they attach importance to prior firm performance, and their voting is, to a certain degree, affected by business ties.
Keywords: Proxy voting, Voting policies, Mutual funds, Business ties, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS)
JEL Classification: G23, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation