Monday, June 19, 2006

A Little Industry With a Lot of Sway on Proxy Votes

Few shareholders ever cast a proxy vote themselves. Moreover, according to a recent poll of mutual fund investors, proxy voting policies ranked last among the 19 issues that people consider before making a purchase. But for institutional investors — pension funds, endowments, hedge funds and the like — corporate governance is an entirely different matter. They may not care deeply about it, but they need to pay attention as a fiduciary duty, typically relying for advice on a tiny group of little-known companies.

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