Apr 30, 2021 - Economy

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders want ESG progress at Los Angeles meeting

Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger

Photo: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images

Warren Buffett is heading to Los Angeles to reunite with longtime lieutenant Charlie Munger, showbiz-style, for Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting Saturday.

Why it matters: At a time when many companies are taking vocal stands on social, political and environmental issues, Berkshire is bucking the trend.

  • The conglomerate faces renewed calls from large institutional shareholders to provide more disclosure on climate change and diversity and inclusion progress.
  • But Buffet recommends shareholders vote against these proposals.

What they're saying: “I don’t believe in imposing my political opinions on the activities of our businesses,” Buffett said at the 2018 shareholder meeting, per DealBook.

The state of play: California's pension system, CalPERS, is withholding votes on the reelection of members of the board’s audit and governance committees for failing to meet climate-risk disclosure demands, writes the WSJ.

  • Proxy advisers Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services also recommend investors withhold board votes.

Yes, but: The shareholder proposals aren't expected to pass, thanks in no small part to Buffet's one-third voting power, DealBook notes.

Go deeper