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Rating:Activism: Coming Soon to a Fund Near You? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, July 27, 2006

Activism: Coming Soon to a Fund Near You?

by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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 reported Friday.

David Ortman, 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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