MONTREAL, September 15, 2020 – Two Canadian leaders in responsible investment services have partnered to create the new GIR, a joint venture aimed to become the sole Canadian provider of proxy voting services for institutional investors from coast to coast.
Montreal-based Groupe Investissement Responsable Inc. (GIR) and Toronto- and Vancouver-based non-profit organization SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education) have a 20-year history of advancing responsible investment in Canada. They offer their respective clients consultation and proxy voting services to help them take into account environmental, social, and governance issues in their investments and voting decisions while respecting their fiduciary duties.
Today, GIR and SHARE combine their proxy voting services in a single entity, bringing together their many years of expertise and experience in this area. This partnership will make it possible to offer their clients an even more efficient service as the peak season for general shareholders’ meetings is condensed in a few weeks, while the number, diversity, and complexity of the proposals filed keep increasing.
“By combining the best of both of our proxy voting services into one new entity, we are creating an even stronger service for both our clients,” said Kevin Thomas, CEO of SHARE. “Now more than ever, shareholder votes are having a significant impact on the environmental, social, and governance practices of corporations. This is how we hold them accountable.”
“If you don’t exercise your right as a shareholder, someone else will do it for you,” said Thomas Estinès, GIR’s new CEO. “We help institutions use that right to safely oversee their investments and promote long-term sustainability and value in their portfolio. Our decades of experience allow us to zero in on the issues that matter at each company you own and cast your vote according to your specific goals.”
“Unity makes strength,” adds Olivier Gamache, who will chair the board of directors of the new GIR after 14 years at the head of the original entity.
The new GIR will assume all of the operations of the old Groupe Investissement Responsable, as well as the proxy voting services formerly provided by SHARE’s in-house staff. SHARE will continue, separately, to offer shareholder engagement services to institutional investors, alongside its advocacy, research and leadership development, and mobilization programs, for which it has notably won the RIA Leadership Awards.
About Groupe investissement responsable Inc. (GIR)
The GIR is the Quebec leader in extra-financial advisory services. Since 2000, GIR guides its clients through the environmental, social, and corporate governance issues that affect public companies. To this end, it offers services that include proxy-voting, research, and business consulting. As a strategic advisor, GIR is duty-bound to act in the best long-term interest of its clients. Thus, it considers that fiduciary duty requires to take into account environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that can have an impact on how investment portfolios perform.
About SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education)
Since 2000, SHARE has built a community of values-driven investors who are committed to amplifying their voices in support of a sustainable, inclusive, and productive economy. As a leading non-profit investor voice on human rights and responsible investment in Canada, SHARE represents a growing network of institutional investors with more than $23 billion in assets under management. SHARE provides award-winning shareholder engagement, proxy vote auditing, education, policy advocacy, and practical research programs to help institutions meet their responsible investment objectives. Clients include pension funds, universities, foundations, Indigenous trusts, faith-based organizations, family offices, and asset managers.