Toronto, ON, June 6, 2016 – OceanRock Investments Inc. (Meritas Jantzi Social Index® Fund) along with the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) will present a shareholder proposal at the Restaurant Brands International (RBI) (TSX: QSR) annual meeting Thursday June 9, asking the company to adopt and publish a formal, written board diversity policy and to report to shareholders on the board’s plans, timelines, process and activities for increasing gender diversity on the board of directors and amongst senior management.
RBI is the multinational owner and operator of Burger King and Tim Hortons. Prior to the 2014 merger with Burger King to form RBI, Tim Hortons had three women on its twelve-person board. Post-merger RBI has zero women on its board of directors. RBI does not have a formal written policy relating to the identification and nomination of women directors nor does it have a formal written diversity policy. RBI’s board has declined to make a vote recommendation with regard to this shareholder proposal.
“Given the current investment and corporate governance climate in Canada, we believe RBI’s all-male Board is a step backwards for diversity at the company,” says Fred Pinto, CEO of OceanRock Investments Inc. “If Restaurant Brands International is going to change this picture, it needs both a policy and a plan. As long-term shareholders, we believe that RBI will benefit from expanding its recruitment pool and promoting a more diverse board.”
“Diversity isn’t just the right thing to do for gender equality, it’s a critical attribute of a well-functioning board and a measure of sound corporate governance,” says Kevin Thomas, Director of Shareholder Engagement at SHARE. “The pre-merger record of Burger King on diversity suggests that without a clear plan and some real commitments, we won’t see change happening any time soon. That’s why we need this vote.”
Shareholders will vote on this issue at the company’s Annual Meeting to be held in Oakville, Ontario at 8:00am local time on June 9.
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Notes for Editors
Interviews available with Kevin Thomas, SHARE’s Director of Shareholder Engagement and Fred Pinto, CEO of OceanRock Investments Inc.
The complete shareholder proposal is available on SHARE’s website at: http://www.share.ca/shareholderdb/proposal/adoption-of-board-diversity-policy/2424
SHARE’s proxy alert regarding this proposal is available on SHARE’s website at: http://www.share.ca/files/SHARE_Proxy_Alert_-_RBI_board_diversity_2016.pdf
About SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education)
SHARE is a Canadian leader in responsible investment services, research and education for institutional investors. Since its creation as a non-profit organization in 2000, SHARE has provided proxy voting analysis, shareholder engagement, education, policy advocacy, and practical research on issues related to responsible investment. SHARE’s clients include pension funds, mutual funds, foundations, faith-based organizations and asset managers across Canada with more than $14 billion in assets under management.
www.share.ca / @share_ca
About OceanRock Investments Inc.
OceanRock Investments Inc. is one of Canada’s fastest-growing Investment management organizations, managing $1.4 billion on behalf of Canadian investors. OceanRock offers a comprehensive range of managed portfolio solutions and individual funds to meet the needs of individual and institutional investors. OceanRock is dedicated to offering disciplined, risk-controlled diversified investment solutions to Canadian individual and institutional investors and has a core commitment to Responsible Investing through its Meritas SRI Funds. OceanRock Investments Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qtrade Financial Group, which is a member of Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest and the world’s fifth largest cooperative financial group. OceanRock is a Sustaining Member of the Responsible Investment Association. www.oceanrock.ca
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