In a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, Vanguard engaged with 655 companies on corporate governance matters through our investment stewardship programme.

Vanguard’s equity index funds also voted on 176,834 shareholder proposals, on behalf of investors, in the 12 months ended on 31 December 2020. The full breakdown of the funds’ voting record can be found in our latest annual Investment Stewardship report, which has been moved to calendar-year-end reporting (shifting from a 30 June proxy-year-end reporting schedule) to align our communications with the expectations of the UK Stewardship Code 2020 – a leading global standard for investment stewardship practices.

Source: Vanguard

Our engagements spanned 27 different countries and territories, concerning almost $2 trillion of assets under management (AuM) – or 46% of our total equity AuM.

The Covid-19 pandemic dominated much of the team’s engagements with companies, with many firms experiencing substantial declines in revenue, forcing them to reshape business models as they closed offices and retail locations, furloughed or laid off workers, and invested heavily in technology needed for remote work. Other companies thrived, but their supply chains were tested by disruptions and unexpected surges in demand for certain products and services.

The pandemic further highlighted the need for societal and business progress in addressing the risks of climate change and improving diversity and inclusion, which are key areas of focus for our stewardship team. We continued to build momentum in both of these areas in 2020 through our engagements with companies to understand their oversight and strategy, as well as encouraging improved disclosure.

The full report containing detailed examples of selected, specific engagements in 2020 and a full breakdown of our voting record can be found here.

To learn more about Vanguard’s approach to investment stewardship, watch our CPD-accredited webinar here.

Investment risk information

The value of investments, and the income from them, may fall or rise and investors may get back less than they invested.

Important information

This document is directed at professional investors and should not be distributed to, or relied upon by retail investors. This document is designed for use by, and is directed only at persons resident in the UK.

The information contained in this document is not to be regarded as an offer to buy or sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy or sell securities in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is against the law, or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation, or if the person making the offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so.  The information in this document does not constitute legal, tax, or investment advice. You must not, therefore, rely on the content of this document when making any investment decisions. Issued by Vanguard Asset Management Limited, which is authourised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.© 2021 Vanguard Asset Management Limited. All rights reserved.