Fund companies, beware. Shareholder resolutions motivated by activists, long a part of the corporate world, have begun to hit mutual funds. On August 15, shareholders of the Merrill Lynch Global Allocation Fund
will vote on a resolution asking the fund to sell its stake in Freeport McMoRan
due to environmental concerns about a mine it runs in Indonesia, SocialFunds.com
, executive director of the Northwest Corporate Accountability Project
, first filed the resolution in 1998, and he told SocialFunds.com
that he does not know of any similar actions, yet. But more resolutions may be on their way, soon. At least one other activist sees such resolutions as potentially useful tools.
"Filing shareholder resolutions may prove to be an interesting way to mainstream responsible investment practices into traditional mutual funds," Michelle Chan-Fishel
, program manger for Friends of the Earth
's (FoE) green investments project, said. "Such resolutions may not win majority votes, but they could focus funds' attention on issues."
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