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2007 Mutual Fund Votes TalliedHow Activist Are Funds This Year?

In the first summary of how mutual funds voted in 2007, compares 54 large funds. Funds’ votes on management- and shareholder-sponsored resolutions are tallied and funds are ranked on their ‘activism’ in these two areas.

Drawing on a database of over 7.5 million voting decisions, funds’ 2007 voting records were compared with previous years (2004, 2005 and 2006). On average, funds were slightly less likely to support management resolutions this year than last (although not compared to 2005 and 2004). However, consider this result in context:

Abstentions on management resolutions are slightly up on last year and previous years – so in actual fact, funds are not rejecting shareholder resolutions much more than last year.

Average support for shareholder resolutions is down, and abstentions on shareholder resolutions are up. Both of these results may be explained by the smaller proportion of shareholder resolutions calling for majority voting in director elections – which last year received over 50% support from mutual funds.

As in previous years, SRI funds (Domini, Calvert, Parnassus, Citizens, Coventry and MMA Praxis) were least likely to support management resolutions and most likely to support shareholder resolutions.