Why Being an Engaged Shareholder Matters Today
GuideStone’s Approach to Shareholder Advocacy
It’s no secret that companies are not perfect.
Not surprisingly, quality companies may have policies or certain business lines that may not necessarily align with everyone’s personal convictions. However, at GuideStone®, we make it our job to be more than just a shareholder in those companies. We want to be an engaged shareholder who takes a proactive interest in understanding the how and why of companies that may not fully align with our own.
It is our desire as an organization to positively impact the well-being of our clients and fellow citizens — which is why GuideStone goes beyond just restricting ownership in companies that fall outside of the bounds of our Christian-screening policy. We seek to influence the way companies engage their employees, customers and communities and attempt to work with a company toward a positive resolution.
But while we’ve been investing responsibly for years, it seems the momentum in our industry has also shifted, with more and more companies choosing to invest in line with a particular set of values.
It’s of increased importance for investors to feel that they can align their personal values with their financial investment choices. Investors are now more aware of competitive portfolio returns when investing in companies they trust and that share their values. So in today’s investment landscape, being an engaged investor matters to many because they understand and value the importance of financial stewardship.
And GuideStone takes that same approach — even going one step further. We are dedicated to doing right by investors and have enlisted a formal shareholder advocacy program. By implementing an engagement process that includes letter writing and corporate dialogue, we can work together with corporate management toward a positive solution for both the company and investor.
- Letter Writing — We engage in letter writing when contacting corporate leadership of a company to address a perceived issue. The goal of letter writing is to bring an issue to the company’s attention and to set the agenda for the scope of the engagement and potential next steps.
- Corporate Dialogue — We engage in corporate dialogue to allow investors and companies to come together and address topics in a way that can’t be accomplished through letter writing. Companies can state their current position on an issue and express future intentions in this environment.
Matthew 5:14 states, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” At GuideStone, we’re aware that the choices we make now have the power to affect our future. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to us to dig into these conversations on behalf of our investors and be the light.
And we at GuideStone feel it would be a disservice to our investors not to provide an arena where they have the opportunity to make a difference.
To learn more about how GuideStone is committed to engaging in shareholder advocacy, contact us.
All investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. You should verify with your situation with your tax advisor.
You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the GuideStone Funds before investing. A prospectus with this and other information about the Funds may be obtained by calling 1-888-GS-FUNDS (1-888-473-8637) or downloading one. It should be read carefully before investing.
GuideStone Funds shares are distributed by Foreside Funds Distributors LLC, not an advisor affiliate. Foreside is not a registered investment adviser and does not provide investment advice.