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November 27, 2013
Mutual Fund Support for Political Spending Resolutions Inches Upward
    by Robert Kropp

The Center for Political Accountability and Fund Votes release their yearly analysis of voting on resolutions addressing disclosure of political spending by corporations.

An annual review of proxy voting by mutual funds on corporate political spending resolutions, conducted by Jackie Cook of Fund Votes for the Center for Political Accountability (CPA), reveals that support for such resolutions reached an all time high during the 2013 proxy season.

According to this year's analysis, 40 of the largest US mutual fund families voted in favor of 26 resolutions targeting corporate political spending disclosure 39% of the time. Mutual fund support for the resolutions this year increased five percent over 2012 and eclipsed the previous high of 35% recorded in 2011.

“Shareholders see corporate political spending as risky, and they want political disclosure and accountability to protect companies and their investments,” CPA president Bruce Freed told Bloomberg.

“Thirteen of the 40 fund families supported at least 50 percent of political spending disclosure resolutions in the 2013 proxy season,” the report states. “Eight fund groups supported resolutions more than 80 percent of the time, and four – AllianceBernstein, DWS Investments, MFS (formerly known as Massachusetts Financial Services) and Oppenheimer – supported every one of the resolutions that they voted on.”

“Only eight of the 40 fund groups failed to support a single resolution on corporate political spending disclosure in 2013; 12 fund families failed to cast a vote for (at least one resolution) in 2012,” the report continued. “Two fund groups - Dodge & Cox and Vanguard - have failed to support a single one of the 276 CPA-model political contributions resolutions over the ten-year survey period.”

The 40 mutual fund families analyzed in the report manage a combined $3.3 trillion in US Securities.


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