[Corrects original story, which erroneously said CBIS voted against BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, based on a mistake on the CBIS voting website]
Christian Brothers Investment Services, the US investor which was prominent in the shareholder reaction to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has disclosed its voting ahead of the BP AGM next month.
CBIS, which has around $4bn (€3bn) in assets under management on behalf of more than 1,000 Catholic institutions worldwide, has made its vote known on its website ahead of the meeting in London on May 12.
It is voting against the reappointment of auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers.
CBIS appears to be the first institutional investor that has made public its voting intentions for the AGM. CBIS coordinated a shareholder protest at BP’s turbulent 2011 meeting, which was the first public opportunity for investors to register their unease over the disaster.
In the event, some 43% of shareholder votes at the meeting abstained or voted against the company’s Safety, Ethics and Environmental Assurance Committee chairman Sir William Castell, who has since announced his departure from the board. At last year’s meeting, some 15% of votes abstained or voted against Svanberg.The disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was front-page news and resulted in the exit of former CEO Tony Hayward.
BP is reaching out to responsible investors in a series of presentations in London and New York. In February this year it provided responsible investors with an update on its implementation of the 26 recommendations made by the Bly Report, its internal investigation into Deepwater.
BP has committed to providing quarterly updates on the status of the 26 Bly recommendations.
CBIS is also known for bringing an innovative floor resolution calling for a separate CEO/Chairman at media giant News Corp.’s AGM last year in the wake of the phone hacking revelations.
Its 2012 priorities include human trafficking, pornography distribution and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). It plans to engage with 31 companies this year, with three new companies under the spotlight. They are: AT&T (pornography distribution); Crocs (supply chain and human rights) and Halliburton (fracking).
CBIS is also leading work by global shareholders around the London Olympics on engaging with major hotel chains on supply chains and forced labour.