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Proxy Voting and the Erroneous Implications By Richard Todd

Proxy Voting and What Christians Must Understand

Proxy voting is the delegation to cast a ballot on behalf of a shareholder. Most shareholders do not attend board meetings and delegate that responsibility. Shareholders and their proxies have typically voted on myriad issues: executive compensation, board of directors make-up, budget, mergers, and bylaws. However, with greater attention given to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), proxy voters are now voting on environmental and social issues.

Fortunately, the Alliance Defending Freedom has been at the forefront of the fight for viewpoint diversity. In addition, large investment managers have declared that they are “backing away” from their aggressive ESG agenda. Time will tell.

Christian ministries and organizations (churches, dioceses, religious orders, and educational institutions) should become more engaged and courageous. One simple step is ensuring that your investments are being voted on properly by your investment managers and the delegated proxy voter.

Many investment firms that manage assets for institutions and individuals, even those working in a Christian-values portfolio, delegate proxy voting. The most significant proxy voter has a 60% market share and has Catholic guidelines. Many of the firms designate their vote based on religious guidelines, but here is the rub: the votes are neutral on transgender drugs for children and euthanasia and do not differentiate between biological and transgender women.

Fortunately, some proxy voters excel at upholding Christian values. Unfortunately, most managers, advisors, and consultants are asleep at the wheel – or worse, have a hidden agenda. We were told by a firm that manages hundreds of millions for Christian organizations that “Christians are backward. We want to influence them.” They will manage a Christian-values portfolio, but should you trust them to vote your proxies – or manage your money?


Richard Todd is CEO and co-founder of Innovest Portfolio Solutions, which provides investment consulting services to faith-based organizations. He has almost 40 years of experience in investment consulting and currently provides consulting services to institutions and families. Innovest has over 300 clients, $45 billion in assets under advisement, and 60 employees. Rich can be contacted at More information on Innovest can be found at

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