Voting at shareholders’ meetings

Part of Achmea’s responsible investment policy is the active use of voting rights. We want this to strengthen the checks and balances at companies (in other words: keeping the influence of all stakeholders in balance) and to create long-term value for the company and its stakeholders.

Voting rights

By exercising our voting rights, we encourage companies to raise the quality of their governance and improve their sustainability. We expect that over time this will benefit shareholder value. Companies that have matters in order—for example, a sound corporate structure or strong environmental and human rights policies—often perform better over the long term. In other words: proper corporate governance is good for Achmea and for its stakeholders.
 
The voting policy has developed into the way Achmea votes on subjects such as directors’ appointments, capital structure and remuneration policy. The voting policy is outlined here and set out in detail here.

Governance Codes

Our voting policy for Dutch companies is in line with the Corporate Governance Code. We also use the recommendations in the Code when assessing agenda items where the voting rights are exercised. There is more information on this and how Achmea implements Eumedion’s recommendations on engaged ownership of shares in the Verslag verantwoording betrokken aandeelhouderschap 2020. Outside the Netherlands, we use the ICGN Global Governance Principles and local corporate governance codes as guidance.