Vanguard's approach to investment stewardship
Vanguard's core purpose is "To take a stand for all investors, treat them fairly and give them the best chance for investment success." Vanguard's core values of focus, integrity and stewardship are reflected every day in the way that we engage with our clients, our crew (what we call our employees) and our community. We view our Investment Stewardship programme as a natural extension of these values and of Vanguard's core purpose. Our clients depend on us to be good stewards of their assets, and we depend on corporate boards to prudently oversee the companies in which our funds invest. That is why we believe we have a unique mission to advocate for a world in which the actions and values of public companies and of investors are aligned to create value for Vanguard fund shareholders over the long term.
Effective corporate governance is more than the collection of a company's formal provisions and bylaws. A board of directors serves on behalf of all shareholders and is critical in establishing trust and transparency and ensuring the health of a company – and of the capital markets – over time. This board-centric view is the foundation of Vanguard's approach to investment stewardship. It guides our discussions with company directors and management, as well as our voting of proxies on the funds' behalf at shareholder meetings around the globe. Great governance starts with a board of directors that is capable of selecting the right management team, holding that team accountable through appropriate incentives, and overseeing relevant risks that are material to the business. We believe that effective corporate governance is an important ingredient for the long-term success of companies and their investors. And when portfolio companies perform well, so do our clients' investments.
Because our funds typically own the stock of companies for long periods (and, in the case of index funds, are structurally permanent holders of companies), our emphasis on investment outcomes over the long term is unwavering. That's why we deliberately focus on enduring themes and topics that drive long-term value, rather than solely short-term results. We believe that companies and boards should similarly be focused on long-term shareholder value – both through the sustainability of their strategy and operations, and by managing the risks most material to their long-term success.