BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB | 2005

Etica SGR presented a shareholder resolution to the pharmaceutical company’s general meeting about higher disclosure about the political parties financing.
Etica SGR supported a shareholder resolution presented by SEIU Trust, one of the larger American union, together with religious shareholders part of ICCR network.
In December, during a conference call with the active shareholders (SEIU, Etica Sgr, Sisters of the Embodied Word, etc.) Sandra Leung, the Bristol-Myers’ investor relations manager, provided the shareholders with all the requested information. Bristol-Myers decided to cooperate with the shareholders before the meeting paying attention to ethical investors’ requests. The shareholders’ pressure has been proved as a winning strategy.
“What is a shareholders resolution?” – Who buys shares become a shareholder in proportion of the bought stocks. The investors have the rights to join the company’s general meeting and vote the items on the agenda, intervene in the debate and propose resolutions to be voted by the shareholders. In the USA is possible to propose a shareholder resolution if an investor owns more at least 2,000 dollars in shares. If the shareholder resolution gets more than 2% of votes can be presented again the following year
The first social shareholder resolution was proposed in the USA in 1971. The resolution was proposed in the General Motor’s general meeting. The Episcopal Church, on behalf of ICCR, voted for the closing of the GM branches in south America because of the apartheid. During the following years more than 200 companies were put under pressure for the same reason. Those shareholder resolution, which did not get more than 20% of votes, were able to significantly influence the public opinion on the issue. The shareholder engagment contributed to the battle against the apartheid.

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