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29 Colum. J. Eur. L. 83 (2023)
Institutional Investors' Non-Financial Reporting: Should the EU Regulatory Framework Be Updated?

handle is hein.journals/coljeul29 and id is 87 raw text is: 


                                Raffaele Felicetti*


        The main goal of this empirical research is to identify the trends in
        the European  Union as regards the exercise of shareholder voice
        on environmental and social ('E & S)  matters to then assess, in
        light of the  empirical evidence,  the current EU   regulatory
        framework   mandating  the  disclosure of  some  non-financial
        information. The topic has gained even more traction following
        the European  Green Deal  and the recent publication of the EU
        Commission's  Strategy for a Sustainable Transition. I focus on the
        Big  Three  (BlackRock,  Vanguard,   and  State Street Global
        Advisors    SSGA), which  have increasingly committed to caring
        about E & S issues and which are taken in the Paper as the typical
        example of modern, highly diversified institutional investors. While
        the Big Three's E & S commitment  has received some scrutiny in
        the United States, in Europe it did not traditionally receive much
        academic  attention so far. In this paper, I create a unique dataset
        of 83 European  companies and  assess the Big Three's aggregate
        and individual ownership in such companies. I then collect data on
        how  the Big Three promoted their E & S agenda in 2020 in such

        I find that E & S  issues are discussed overwhelmingly through
        private  engagements,  while  are  never  raised  through  the
        submission  of shareholder  proposals or  by  voting on  other
        shareholders' E &  S proposals. After identifying some possible
        explanations for these trends, I then demonstrate that the extent to
        which an  institutional investor makes use of private engagements
        seems to be a variable that is independent (wholly or, in any case,
        to a large extent) of the support that it gives to other shareholders'
        E  & S  proposals. In other words, institutional investors would
        arguably continue to make extensive use of private engagements
        regardless of whether, unlike what is happening today in the EU,
        the other shareholders started submitting E & S proposals and the

    * S.J.D. Candidate, Harvard Law School, and Research Fellow, Harvard Program on Corporate
Governance. Email: Rfelicetti@sjd.law.harvard.edu. The author would like to thank Alperen Gdzhigol for
helpful comments on early drafts of the paper.

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