Our Approach to Proxy Voting and Engagement
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BlackRock's approach to engagement with the companies in which we invest on behalf of clients is set out in our Global Corporate Governance and Engagement Principles. They also provide an overview of key aspects of our views on corporate governance and outline how these might be reflected in our voting decisions. Our work in this area is profiled periodically in our report Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment at BlackRock.
While we believe that there are some overarching principles of corporate governance that apply globally as set out in our Principles, we recognize that corporate governance practices vary internationally. Our expectations in relation to individual companies are based on the legal and regulatory framework of the market in which they are based.
We assess voting matters on a case-by-case basis and in light of a company's unique circumstances. We are interested in understanding each company's approach to corporate governance, including where and why it is different from the usual market practice and how this may or may not benefit shareholders.
BlackRock also takes seriously its responsibility for exercising oversight of, and promoting due care in, the stewardship of each investment in a company. In our view, our responsibilities as a fiduciary to our fund investors include:
- engaging with management or board members on corporate governance, including social, ethical and environmental matters
- voting proxies in the best long-term economic interests of shareholders, and
- engaging in the market to understand and contribute to the development of best practices that promote long-term shareholder value creation.
Engagement is essentially communicating with companies to enhance our mutual understanding and, where there are concerns, to seek changes in company practice. We believe that the most effective engagement is usually done privately and directly with companies. The Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment team works closely with the portfolio managers on individual company engagements to ensure an integrated approach is taken and a consistent message is delivered to companies.
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