The new program will offer UK and US investors in more than 40% of the index equity assets managed by SSGA to vote on how their shares vote.
SSGA said that over time, it intends to expand investor directed voting choice to “as many of its index equity assets under management as possible”.
Voting policies will be made available to SSGA investors through Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a recognized independent proxy voting provider.
SSGA clients in separately managed accounts already had the ability to either directly vote or delegate proxy votes to the firm’s asset stewardship team, and this will be continued in the institutional scheme.
Set to begin next year, the program joins Vanguard and BlackRock’s pilot schemes, which were announced last month and October 2021 respectively. Charles Schwab also unveiled a similar pilot program in October 2022.
Lochiel Crafter, executive vice president and head of the Global Institutional Group of SSGA, said: “The new voting choice program is a recognition of how important participation in proxy voting is to our clients.
“Giving even more investors the chance to choose how to vote shares held in funds they are invested in will remain a priority.”