Nomura Asset Management has become the first major Japanese asset manager to unveil how it voted on proposals put to shareholders’ meetings of companies in which it is invested.
The statement is available in Japanese only and neither it nor the English-language Nikkei report on the disclosure notes when the company was voting in its capacity as the steward of mutual funds and when as the manager of institutional money. It therefore does not show whether the institutions whose assets it invests were asked about their wishes on the various resolutions.
It does, however, in closing that:
‘With more attention being paid to strengthening corporate governance, the Financial Services Agency has updated Japan’s stewardship code for institutional investors, urging them to disclose their votes on resolutions at listed companies beginning in June. Voting history may become an important factor for pension funds and other investors choosing asset managers.’
So perhaps the distinction will be made clear in future disclosures.
NAM’s voting guidelines are centrally concerned with shareholder value and it opposed 8.6% of the 2,635 resolutions put to general shareholder meetings in the quarter ended March.
Some of these dissents, according to the Nikkei seem ‘to run counter to the interests of other Nomura group members’. NAM voted against the merger that formed plastics maker C.I. Takiron, saying it was disadvantageous to minority shareholders, even as Nomura Securities advised the C.I. Kasei side of the deal. The firm also opposed some nominees for board seats at Suntory Beverage & Food, for which Nomura Securities is lead managing underwriter.
NAM also against anti-takeover measures by brewer Sapporo Holdings and sportswear company Asics, as well as proposals at DMG Mori and others to transfer stock to foundations connected to their founding families, saying these moves would hurt returns for small shareholders.
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This blog would not exist without the help and humour of Diane Stormont, 1959-2012