Investor Engagement for Impact
The Impact of Equity Engagement (IE2) is a multi-stakeholder initiative launched at a convening in Boston in December 2013 and re-launched in November 2017 as Investor Engagement for Impact.
IE2 initially sought to answer the following questions:
- Can the full range of engagement activities, from proxy voting and shareholder resolution filing to direct dialogs, networked campaigns, and policy action, be isolated, tracked, and potentially weighted for their impact?
- Can investors quantitatively measure the impact generated by engagement activities, in light of the qualitative nature of most social and environmental outcomes?
- Can this analysis reveal the factors which make for more impactful shareholder engagement?
- Can the impact of public equity engagement activities be reported through a standardized framework? Will investors commit to using such a framework to report on their engagement activities?
Phase 1 of the initiative culminated in the release of the report, Impact of Equity Engagement: Evaluating the Impact of Shareholder Engagement in Public Equity Investing, in November 2014. The initiative also developed a conceptual Engagement Reporting Framework that captures key data to track, analyze and report the impact of investors' engagement activities.
Phase 2 of the initiative involved the testing of IE2's Engagement Reporting Framework by a group of highly engaged investors that input data for a selection of their engagements during the 2015 proxy season. The initiative also held consultations with a wide range of engaged investors and leading investor networks, such as Ceres, the PRI, ICCR, and US SIF, about their interest in tracking and measuring the impact of engagement activities. As a capstone to this second phase, IE2 co-organized a special convening on high-impact shareholder engagement strategies in November 2016 with the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University.
Current Enlargement of the Initiative: Investor Engagement for Impact
Following input from the Harvard convening, IE2 has now expanded its work to other asset classes and opened its activities to a wider group of members who share a commitment to using engagement strategies as a proactive way to pursue positive environmental, social, and governance impact. Re-launched in November 2017 with a new name - Investor Engagement for Impact - the initiative has become a member-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative for identifying, encouraging, and quantifying high-impact investor engagement across asset classes.
The work undertaken by IE2 on the impact of engagement in public equities will continue to be a major component of the enlarged initiative, with a focus on developing standards for tracking and reporting the impact of engagement in public equity investing. Additionally, the re-launched initiative will be creating a new working group on the impact of bondholder engagement, a growing area of interest among fixed-income investors. Investors interested in exploring more rigorous approaches to measuring the impact of engagement in other asset classes, such as cash, private equity, or real assets, are also welcome to join.
Interim Governing Board
Shelley Alpern, Ceres
Andy Behar, As You Sow
Stu Dalheim, Calvert Investments
Julie Gorte, Pax World Management
Lisa Hayles, Boston Common Asset Management
Joshua Humphreys, Croatan Institute
Jonas Kron, Trillium Asset Management
Dhaval Patel, Tides
Mari Schwartzer, NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.
Heidi Soumerai, Walden Asset Management
Leslie Samuelrich, Green Century Capital Management