ES Votes That Matter

61 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2021 Last revised: 6 Aug 2021

See all articles by Roni Michaely

Roni Michaely

The University of Hong Kong; ECGI

Guillem Ordonez-Calafi

University of Bristol

Silvina Rubio

University of Bristol

Date Written: July 12, 2021


We find that environmental and social (ES) funds in non-ES families adopt a strategic voting pattern: they are supportive of ES proposals that pass or fail by large margins, but unsupportive when their votes are likely to be pivotal. As such, these funds are able to show considerably high support for ES proposals on average, consistent with their stated objectives, while aligning with conflicting family preferences when their votes are likely to make a difference. This voting pattern is predominantly driven by actively managed funds. Our results highlight possible conflict of interest between ES funds and their families; showing that, when it matters the most, family preferences towards ES prevail over funds stated objectives, and perhaps with their fiduciary responsibilities.

Keywords: responsible investment, strategic voting, mutual funds, fiduciary duty

JEL Classification: G11, G30, K22, M14

Suggested Citation

Michaely, Roni and Ordonez-Calafi, Guillem and Rubio, Silvina, ES Votes That Matter (July 12, 2021). European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 774/2021, Available at SSRN: or

Roni Michaely

The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK

ECGI ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Guillem Ordonez-Calafi

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

Silvina Rubio (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

United States

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