Shareholders fight to rein in risk by demanding transparency into public companies’ political spending
By Eleanor Laise
May 18, 2021
But simply opening the books on corporate political spending isn’t enough, some experts say. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of over 300 institutional investors, is pushing companies to align their lobbying on climate issues with their stated corporate values, says Josh Zinner, CEO. Alpern also calls on companies to analyze and report on the alignment between their political spending and their publicly stated values and policies. With BlackRock’s support, one such proposal got 47% support among Pfizer Inc. PFE, -1.49% shareholders in April.
Another next step: Give shareholders a vote on corporate political-spending budgets, says Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a professor at the Stetson University College of Law in Florida. “This goes back to the reputational risks corporations are taking,” she says. Given the risk of consumer boycotts and investor disenchantment, she says, “corporations that get involved in politics really risk shooting their brands in the foot.”
This article was originally published on the MarketWatch website on May 18, 2021, with the headline, “Shareholders fight to rein in risk by demanding transparency into public companies’ political spending.”
Post date: May 18, 2021