Policy Formulation & Application

ISS is committed to openness and transparency in formulating its proxy voting policies and in applying these policies to approximately 39,000 companies in 115 countries each year.

Policy Formulation Process

Our bottom-up policy formulation process collects feedback from a diverse range of market participants through multiple channels: an annual Policy Survey of institutional investors and corporate issuers, roundtables with industry groups, and ongoing feedback during proxy season.

The ISS Policy Board uses this input to develop its draft policy updates on emerging governance issues each year. Before finalizing these updates, we publish draft updates for an open review and comment period. Beginning in 2008, all comments received are posted verbatim to the Policy Gateway, in order to provide additional transparency into the feedback we have received. Final updates are published in November, to apply to meetings held after February of the following year.

Policy Application Process

ISS research analysts apply more than 400 policies to shareholder meetings, including ISS’ benchmark policies, specialty policies such as Taft-Hartley and Public Fund policies, along with custom policies defined by our clients.

As part of the research process, ISS analysts interact with company representatives, institutional shareholders, shareholder proponents and other parties to gain deeper insight into key issues. This dialogue helps ensure a full understanding of the facts and enriches our analysis. We have prepared a brief FAQ that provides more information about how we engage with companies.

For the U.S.,  please reference the U.S. Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures FAQ available here.

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