Press releases

LGIM to vote against combined CEO and board chairs globally

LGIM updates global proxy voting policy as it steps up influence on companies to improve leadership structures. LGIM will also vote against companies in Japan with no women represented at board level.

3 Feb 2020

Link to full press release

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has today announced an escalation of its voting policy towards combined CEO and board chairs, with the decision to vote against combined roles at director elections globally. 

The changes come as part of LGIM’s annual review of its global proxy voting policies, which this year also sees a host of changes to strengthen its position on strategic corporate governance, including auditor tenure and board level diversity. The global proxy voting policies, which are consistently applied across all assets with voting discretion, are regularly reviewed to reflect the evolving understanding of corporate governance, market and client expectations.

The policy will have particular impact in the United States, France and Spain where combined roles are still common. Despite positive momentum in the United States, 47% of S&P 500 boards still have combined CEO and board chair roles, while in Spain 20% of IBEX 35 companies have a combined chair and CEO, and 53% of CAC 40 companies in France. 

Moving the needle on diversity in Japan

This year’s changes will also see LGIM vote against all TOPIX 100 companies in Japan which do not have at least one woman representative on their board. In 2019, the percentage of women board members at TOPIX 100 companies rose above ten percent for the first time, but it remains significantly lower than in other developed markets, such as the UK and United States, where 30% of FTSE 350 and 27% of S&P 500 board members are women.

LGIM has long been an advocate for board diversity, in the belief that better diversity brings economic as well as cultural benefits, and in recent years has been consistently strengthening its position on the issue globally. LGIM first implemented a voting policy on board diversity in the UK in 2015 by voting against largest 100 UK companies with all male boards, and has extended this approach where in 2019 it voted against the UK’s largest 350 companies with less than 25% women on the board, and by voting against all male boards globally. From this year it will also vote against the largest 100 companies in the S&P 500 and S&P TSX, where there are currently less than 25% women on boards.

Sacha Sadan, Director of Investment Stewardship at LGIM: "The separation of combined CEO and board chair roles provides a better balance of authority and responsibility, that aligns with the best long-term interests of companies and investors. We’ve also seen a worrying trend of companies splitting the roles after a scandal, then recombining over time. We hope that by escalating this policy, we are sending a very clear message that we will not support a combined role going forward."
Sacha Sadan, Director of Investment Stewardship at LGIM: "Well-functioning, independent boards are key to long-term investment performance. As stewards of our clients’ capital, we want to ensure we are holding companies to high standards, and that we speak with one voice in encouraging markets to align with global best practices."
Fallback Thumbnail People


T: 0203 124 4355/ 4363

Email LGIM PR Team

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.2 trillion in total assets under management* of which a third is international. We also provide powerful asset origination capabilities. Together, these underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions: we are a leading international player in pension risk transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.

*at 31 Dec 2022

Legal & General Investment Management

Legal & General Investment Management is one of Europe’s largest asset managers and a major global investor, with total assets under management of £1.29 trillion1. We work with a wide range of global clients, including pension schemes, sovereign wealth funds, fund distributors and retail investors.

For more than 50 years, we have built our business through understanding what matters most to our clients and transforming this insight into valuable, accessible investment products and solutions. We provide investment expertise across the full spectrum of asset classes including fixed income, equities, commercial property, and cash. Our capabilities range from index-tracking and active strategies to liquidity management and liability-based risk management solutions.

1Globally, we manage assets of £1.42 trillion or CHF 1.75 trillion as at 31 December 2021 (source: LGIM internal data as at 31 December 2021). The data combines assets under management by LGIM in the UK, LGIMA in the US and LGIM Asia in Hong Kong. Assets under management include securities and derivatives positions.

*at 11 Jan 2023


Past performance is not a guide to the future. The value of an investment and any income taken from it is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up, you may not get back the amount you originally invested. For illustrative purposes only. Reference to a particular security is on a historical basis and does not mean that the security is currently held or will be held within an LGIM portfolio. The above information does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Views expressed are of LGIM as at 3 January 2023.


In the European Economic Area, it is issued by LGIM Managers (Europe) Limited, authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland as a UCITS management company (pursuant to European Communities (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) Regulations, 2011 (S.I. No. 352 of 2011), as amended) and as an alternative investment fund manager with "top up" permissions which enable the firm to carry out certain additional MiFID investment services (pursuant to the European Union (Alternative Investment Fund Managers) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 257 of 2013), as amended). Registered in Ireland with the Companies Registration Office (No. 609677).  Registered Office: 70 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin, 2, Ireland. Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (No. C173733).

LGIM Managers (Europe) Limited operates a branch network in the European Economic Area, which is subject to supervision by the Central Bank of Ireland. In Italy, the branch office of LGIM Managers (Europe) Limited is subject to limited supervision by the Commissione Nazionale per le società e la Borsa ("CONSOB") and is registered with Banca d'Italia (no. 23978.0) with registered office at Piazza della Repubblica 3, 20121 Milan, (Companies' Register no. MI - 2557936). In Germany, the branch office of LGIM Managers (Europe) Limited is subject to limited supervision by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority ("BaFin"). In the Netherlands, the branch office of LGIM Managers (Europe) Limited is subject to limited supervision by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets ("AFM") and it is included in the register held by the AFM and registered with the trade register of the Chamber of Commerce under number 74481231.Details about the full extent of our relevant authorisations and permissions are available from us upon request. For further information on our products (including the product prospectuses), please visit our website.