As part of the SBA’s mission to invest, manage and safeguard the assets of its various mandates, the SBA plays a vital role in supporting initiatives to ensure that public companies meet high standards of independent and ethical corporate governance. The SBA acts as a strong advocate on behalf of FRS members and beneficiaries, retirees and other clients to strengthen shareowner rights and promote leading corporate governance practices at U.S. and international companies in which the SBA holds stock. The SBA’s corporate governance activities are focused on enhancing share value and ensuring that public companies are accountable to their shareowners, with independent boards of directors, transparent disclosure, accurate financial reporting, ethical business practices and policies that protect and enhance the value of SBA investments.
The State Board of Administration of Florida (SBA) cast votes at more than 10,500 public companies, voting more than 102,000 individual ballot items during the 2017 proxy season. The SBA actively engages portfolio companies throughout the year, addressing corporate governance concerns and seeking opportunities to improve alignment with the interests of our beneficiaries. Highlights from the 2017 proxy season included the continued focus on proxy access by U.S. companies, unprecedented levels of investor support for environmental and social proposals, marketplace reexamination of multi-class share structures, and the continued rise in activist investors' targeting of the largest companies. SBA votes were cast in 81 countries, with the top five countries comprised of the United States (2,799 votes), Japan (1,310), India (512), Canada (489), and the United Kingdom (423). Across all voting items, the SBA voted 79.1 percent "For'', 19 percent "Against", 1.9 percent "Abstained / Did Not Vote / Unvoted" (due to various local market regulations or liquidity restrictions placed on voted shares). Of all votes cast, 19.3 percent were "Against" the management-recommended-vote (down from 22.2 percent during the same period last year).