Proxy voting in 2015 at Franklin Templeton funds

  • Franklin Mutual Shares Fund (MUTHX) voted 18.89% in favor of genocide-free investing on April 7, 2015 . No vote was recorded for Franklin Mutual Global Discovery Fund (TEDIX) and Franklin Mutual Quest Fund (MQIFX), though genocide-free investing appeared on those proxy ballots.
  • Read Stephen McNeil’s statement at the April 7 shareholder meeting.
  • Templeton Emerging Markets (EMF) voted 25.61% in favor of genocide-free investing on March 2, 2015, up from 19.94% in 2013.
  • Read Eric Cohen’s statement at the March 2 shareholder meeting.

Proxy voting in 2014 at Franklin Resources

  • Genocide-free investing is on the ballot for the second year at Franklin Resources for the annual meeting on March 12, 2014.
  • Read the white paper for a detailed analysis of the proposal and its merits.
  • This year, Franklin Resources attempted to suppress a vote on the genocide-free investing shareholder proposal by submitting a “no-action request” to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offering numerous reasons why the proposal should not be presented to shareholders. The company claimed that it lacked the power to implement the proposal, that it dealt with inappropriate (“ordinary business”) issues, and that it had been substantially implemented. The SEC rejected all these claims, saying, in part, “Franklin’s policies, practices, procedures do not compare favorably with the guidelines in the proposal.”  Only because the SEC rejected all of these arguments and insisted that the proposal be presented to shareholders will shareholders be allowed to express themselves on this important social issue.
  • Read the press release about the SEC ruling that supported putting genocide-free investing on the ballot.

The proposal states:

Shareholders request that the Board institute transparent procedures to avoid holding or recommending investments in companies that, in management’s judgment, substantially contribute to genocide or crimes against humanity, the most egregious violations of human rights. Such procedures may include time-limited engagement with problem companies if management believes that their behavior can be changed. In the rare case that the company’s duties as an advisor require holding these investments, the procedures should provide for prominent disclosure to help shareholders avoid unintentionally holding such investments.

Proxy voting in 2013 at Franklin Resources

  • 8.7% of shareholders at Franklin Resources, parent company of Franklin Templeton mutual funds, voted in favor of the genocide-free investing proposal coordinated by Investors Against Genocide. Votes against the proposal represented 83.89% of the votes with 7.44% of shareholders abstaining.
  • Read the press release about the vote.
  • Read the presentation of the genocide-free investing proposal at the Franklin Resources 2013 annual meeting. The proposal was presented by Armen Carapetian, Chair of the Armenian National Committee of America San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.
  • Read the proxy materials for the voting at Franklin Resources, the parent company of Franklin Templeton funds, at the annual meeting on March 13, 2013.
  • Read the whitepaper on Genocide-free Investing: 2013 Proxy Votes at JPMorgan Chase and Franklin Resources.
  • Read the open letter sent to executives at Franklin Templeton asking the company to voluntarily adopt the proposed genocide-free investing policy. The letter was signed by 35 local and national human rights and religious groups and joined by genocide and corporate governance scholars.
  • Read the press release about the opportunity for shareholders to vote on genocide-free investing on the Franklin Resources proxy ballot.

Proxy voting in 2013 at Franklin Templeton funds

  • Templeton Emerging Markets (EMF) voted 19.9% in favor of genocide-free investing on March 1, 2013
  • Templeton Global Income (GIM) voted 17.2% in favor of genocide-free investing on March 1, 2013