|LONDON – April 14, 2011 – Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (CBIS), a socially responsible investment firm with $4 billion under management for Catholic institutions, announced today that 25% of BP shareholders abstained or voted against the company’s remuneration report, and 15% of BP shareholders abstained or voted against the company’s accounts and reports at the annual meeting, according to preliminary results. Support for retention of board members on the Safety, Ethics and Environmental Assurance Committee (SEEAC) was also weak, with 43% abstaining or voting against the retention of committee Chair Sir William Castell.
In contrast, last year’s BP annual meeting saw 16% withholding support from the remuneration report, while only 1% withheld support from the BP accounts and reports. Just 2% withheld their support from Sir William Castell in 2010.
CBIS, MMA Praxis Mutual Funds and other members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility were part of an international coalition of investors that announced they would vote against BP’s accounts and reports in response to the company’s failure to address a variety of issues in its annual report. Those issues included how the company’s safety and risk management function has been strengthened; how it is being evaluated, managed, and mitigated; how the board will oversee it; and how progress is to be assessed and measured. Major proxy voting organizations, including Glass Lewis, which advises institutional investors that collectively represent more than $17 trillion in assets, had also recommended a vote against the report.
Preliminary results from key votes at the BP Annual Meeting included:
“As demonstrated by the weak vote for Sir William Castell, investors obviously have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the Safety, Ethics and Environmental Assurance Committee,” said Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing at CBIS. “I was heartened by CEO Bob Dudley’s commitment at the annual meeting to try to find an independent expert to oversee the implementation of the recommendations made in the Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report.”
- 43% abstaining/voting against the Chair of BP’s Safety, Ethics and Environment Assurance Committee (SEEAC), Sir William Castell;
- 25% abstaining/voting against the remuneration proposal;
- 16% abstaining/voting against SEEAC Committee member, A. Burgmans;
- 15% abstaining/voting against the company’s accounts and reports;
- 15% abstaining/voting against the Chair of BP's Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg; and
- 12% abstaining/voting against SEEAC Committee member, C.B. Carroll.
“It is clear from their corporate reports that BP has been very active following this disaster,” said Mark Regier, Director of Stewardship Investing at Everence Financial and the MMA Praxis Mutual Funds. “Much less clear are the ultimate goals, measures and real-world implications of these activities. This is critical information shareholders—and all stakeholders—need to know.”
The following investors, including members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, are among those that abstained or voted against the BP Annual Report:
- Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (U.S.)
- Bon Secours Health System, Inc. (U.S.)
- Catholic Health East (U.S.)
- Catholic Health Partners (U.S.)
- CHRISTUS Health (U.S.)
- The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (U.K.)
- Ethos Foundation (Switzerland)
- Everence Financial/MMA Praxis Mutual Funds (U.S.)
- Mercy Investment Services, Inc. (U.S.)
- Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia (U.S.)
To read an assessment of BP's annual report from CBIS and members of ICCR, click here.
About Christian Brothers Investment Services
Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (CBIS) is a leader in Catholic socially responsible investing (SRI) with approximately $4 billion in AUM for more than 1,000 Catholic institutions worldwide, including dioceses, religious institutes, educational institutions and health care organizations. CBIS' combination of premier institutional asset managers, diversified product offerings, and careful risk-control strategies constitutes a unique investment approach for Catholic institutions and their fiduciaries. CBIS strives to integrate faith-based values into the investment process through a disciplined approach to socially responsible investing that includes principled purchasing (stock screens), active ownership strategies (proxy voting, dialogues, and shareholder resolutions) and community investment. Visit CBIS at www.cbisonline.com.
About Everence and MMA Praxis Mutual Funds
MMA Praxis Mutual Funds, advised by Everence Capital Management, is a faith-based, socially responsible family of mutual funds designed to help people and groups integrate their finances with faith values. Everence helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through a national team of advisors and representatives. Everence offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits and stewardship education. To learn more, visit www.Everence.com or call 800-348-7468.