The California Public Workers’ Retirement System and Neuberger Berman have requested that the Omaha, Neb., Conglomerate introduce new administrators and provide additional information on local weather hazards and state salaries. In addition to the annual Berkshire meeting on Saturday, proxy advisors Glass Lewis & Co. and Institutional Shareholder Companies Inc. have recommended that buyers withhold their votes for board members.
Ahead of the Berkshire annual meeting on Saturday, proxy advisors Glass Lewis & Co. and Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended that investors withhold their votes for board members.
While many of the complaints are not new and none of the shareholder proposals are likely to be adopted, Berkshire’s poor returns over the past few years have made it more vulnerable to criticism in the face of a growing wave of investor interest in corporate sustainability issues.
The shareholder movement to push companies to climate change, social progress, and governance continues to grow in the U.S. and is a major selling point for money managers in their efforts to hold client funds.
Under Mr. Buffett’s leadership, the company has posted 20% annualized earnings calculated at 20% annualized profit from 1965 to 2020, outperforming the S&P 500’s positive aspects of 10.2% along with dividends over the interval. Berkshire’s total return over the past three and five years was 12% and 14%, respectively, as opposed to 19% and 18% of the index.
Calpers, the country’s largest public pension fund, with assets of $ 444 billion, was a co-sponsor of a shareholder proposal calling on Berkshire to provide additional information on climate-related threats alternatives.
The Pension Fund may also withhold its votes to re-elect members of the Board of Directors’s audit and governance committees for failing to comply with shareholder requests for climate risk disclosure. It stated that the board has no new members, does not interact with shareholders, and does not let buyers vote on government compensation plans.
“If you don’t update the board, you won’t have a later era of administrators able to learn from the long-time administrators before they leave the board,” said Nzima.