I have never voted by proxy at a shareholder meeting before. But I opened one of the proxy voting solicitations today for a Vanguard fund shareholder meeting and read the proposals.

They are all one line, for example one entire proposal is just: "Approve a manager of managers arrangement with third-party investment advisors."

But there is one more interesting proposal: A shareholder proposal asking Vanguard to abstain from holding investments in companies substantially contributing to genocide or crimes against humanity. I want to support this, but I also want to make sure that the details are reasonable first.

So my question is: Is there usually/ever a way to learn more about these proposals? And, is there more to these proposals, or is the one sentence all that there is?

1 Answer 1


The full statement (85 double pages in PDF) is downloadable from http://www.proxy-direct.com/Vanguard/Materials/Materials.aspx . If you want paper you could call the phone number given there for Computershare and I'm sure they'll send it to you, but in this case you only have 14 days left and in your shoes I wouldn't wait for mail. As usual IME, and exaggerating just a tad, the shareholder proposal has few details because they are mostly written by woolyheads, and the management proposals have huge details, written by lawyers who will never write anything in language you can understand because then someone could find a way to misinterpret it. Enjoy :)

As a more general answer, at least for the US (my main experience), proxy materials are always available at the (external) voting arbiter, or at the issuer's own website usually in a section labelled Investor Relations, and often both. And in addition they are always available at the SEC's EDGAR system. Starting at https://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html and selecting one of the funds I own leads to https://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?CIK=vtiax&owner=exclude&action=getcompany and the DEF 14A item dated 2017-08-14 (accession 0000932471-17-004795) is the one for this election. (14A is the rule requiring this type of filing. You can usually ignore all DEFA14A items; the extra A is for Additional and additional proxy materials are usually just repetitions of "Please vote" -- "Pretty please vote" -- "Please really please vote" -- "We mean it! Please vote!" etc. Although this one does have several versions of a FAQ.)

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