When an Ask gets full support, a Stake Champion takes the issues directly to company management. What makes them special?
Champions are experienced at shareholder engagement, with a successful track record.

Zevin Asset Management


About

Zevin Asset Management is a majority women-owned and 100% employee-owned firm that invests in companies with responsible business practices both for social impact and for financial reasons. Zevin leads its peer investment managers in collaborative social impact engagement and advocacy, often covering new issues with innovative strategies.

https://www.zevin.com/

By the Numbers

Assets under Management 600.0 million
Year Founded 1997
Memberships in Impact Organizations 8
Location Boston
Focus Areas Climate Change

People


Pat Tomaino 11 years experience
Pat leads Zevin’s cor­po­rate engage­ment pro­gram, ana­lyz­ing port­fo­lio com­pa­nies and push­ing them to address crit­i­cal envi­ron­men­tal, social, and gov­er­nance risks. To that end, Pat dia­logues with exec­u­tives, builds coali­tions with NGOs and peer firms, and files share­holder pro­pos­als on behalf of our clients. He also iden­ti­fies emerg­ing sus­tain­abil­ity issues and over­sees proxy vot­ing. For sev­eral years, Pat was a Senior Ana­lyst on the respon­si­ble invest­ment team of F&C Asset Man­age­ment, where he led the U.K. firm’s work in Latin Amer­ica and Canada. He has held research roles for sev­eral pro­gres­sive groups, includ­ing Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth Warren’s 2012 cam­paign and the Ser­vice Employ­ees Inter­na­tional Union (SEIU).

Highlights

Zevin is a leader in the shareholder engagement space, frequently using targeted investor proposals to challenge companies on mismanagement and long-term ESG risks. In 2016, it filed 32 shareholder resolutions (leading 20 of them). Of those resolutions, 11 were successfully withdrawn, indicating a company made a commitment to change its practices, in response to Zevin’s advocacy. Zevin has also brought important issues to the mainstream by introducing shareholder resolutions on novel issues in recent years, including paid family leave, risks stemming from criminal background checks, the racial pay gap, and minimum wage reform.

In addition to filing shareholder resolutions, Zevin has private dialogues with around 50 companies a year regarding their social and environmental impacts. In 2017, Zevin Asset Management’s advocacy contributed to meaningful changes at Starbucks on paid family leave policy, PepsiCo on climate change risk and greenhouse gas emissions, and Apple on diversity and inclusion. Zevin also joins other investors to collaboratively engage with companies on important issues, often times leading the charge.

Moving Companies Forward on Paid Family Leave

In 2017, Zevin Asset Management wrote to more than a dozen U.S. firms whose policies are inadequate because they don’t meet the needs of modern families or they are unequal between types of parents/classes of workers.

We began productive dialogues with several companies, and we filed shareholder proposals at companies where we were concerned about a lack of progress. Shareholder proposals asking companies to consider enhancing their approaches to paid family leave were filed at Starbucks, CVS Health, Walmart Stores, and YUM! Brands.

Companies are moving in response to engagement and increasing public interest in positive worker policies. All four shareholder proposals led to progress (without going to a vote), and dialogues have also been successful.

  • Starbucks extended paid family leave benefits to fathers and adoptive parents regardless of whether they work in corporate roles or as baristas in stores.
  • CVS Health added a broad-based four-week benefit for all full-time parents (including birth mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, and foster parents). This is added to the existing six-week short term disability benefit for those employees who give birth and extended a lifeline to dads and adoptive parents.
  • Walmart had previously not given hourly workers who were non-birthing parents any paid leave and had given hourly birthing mothers only partial pay for six weeks. In January 2018, the company announced it will give the same parental leave to salaried employees and full-time hourly employees: 16 weeks for birthing mothers and six weeks for all other parents, fully paid. The change impacts about 500,000 families and sets a new basic standard in the marketplace.
  • Over the next 18 months, YUM! Brands will review extending additional paid family leave benefits.
  • After an autumn 2017 meeting, The TJX Companies made a modest four-week extension to its policy

Asks In Action

Ask TJX Companies to disclose gender-, race-, and ethnicity-based pay gaps

Ask Alphabet (Google) to link executive pay to sustainability metrics, including diversity & inclusion

Integrate sustainability metrics into company executive compensation incentive plans

KMI should assess the long-term portfolio impacts of the international goal of limiting global temperature increase to 2ºC.

AbbVie should disclose lobbying activities so shareholders can assess which are consistent with the company's expressed goals.

Ask Chevron to adopt an independent board chair policy to oversee long-term risks