CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Our Approach Is Simple

Our sole goal is to serve our clients’ financial interests by helping to maximize long-run value.

To that end, Strive advocates for the pursuit of excellence in corporate America and is aggressively apolitical when it comes to utilizing our corporate governance tools. 

To learn more about how we engaged with portfolio companies on behalf of our shareholders during our first full proxy voting season, check out our comprehensive 2022-2023 Proxy Season Report.

Click to read Strive 2023 Proxy Season Review

Excellence Through Engagement

We believe in engagement, not divestment. Strive’s products don’t exclude corporations that advance stakeholder interests. Instead, we leverage our vote and voice to maximize shareholder value. To help ensure our focus is always on the pecuniary interests of our clients, the following principles of excellence serve as our corporate governance guide:

Mission Driven

Mission creep is a costly and time-consuming distraction from a company’s core competencies. Companies that stay true to their missions will avoid costly and time-consuming distractions. 

Financial Responsibility

Being financially disciplined is key to a company’s success. All decisions, especially investment and capital allocation decisions, should be focused on financial considerations. 

Customer Centric

America’s most successful companies share the value that customers come first. Businesses are best served when they focus on the needs and wants of their customer base, and that focus will drive performance and shareholder value.

Meritocratic

Strive believes that companies that fill vacancies with the most qualified applicants will produce superior results and all hiring, compensation, and promotions should be based exclusively on merit.

Our Four Levers of Engagement

We utilize the following levers to mandate the corporate pursuit of excellence and maximize value for our clients.  

1. SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS

Shareholders have a right to file proposals with the companies in which they invest, asking them to change how they operate or behave. Strive aims to advance mission-aligned shareholder proposals for companies and sectors in which our clients are invested – including proposals that rectify damage inflicted by other large asset managers that advance agendas that deviate from maximizing shareholder value.

2. SHAREHOLDER VOTING

Shareholders have the right to vote on board member elections, as well as proposals submitted by other shareholders or a company’s management team. Strive will analyze high impact proposals to determine whether they will help or hurt a company’s financial return and vote client shares accordingly – without any “mixed motivations” beyond maximizing shareholder value for clients.

3. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Shareholders also have a public voice that can drive change at companies. Strive will use its voice, on behalf of the owners of our funds, to set expectations for America’s business leaders. We will also hold them publicly accountable by applauding them when they meet those expectations and guiding them to improve them when they fall short.

4. PRIVATE ENGAGEMENT

Large shareholders and asset managers regularly influence corporate decision making through private meetings with CEOs and key personnel. Today, the world’s largest asset managers deliver a monolithic message to CEOs on certain environmental and social issues. By contrast, Strive will deliver a different message: focus exclusively on product excellence over any other agenda. We believe this will help improve underlying corporate performance.

Engagement in Action


Despite significant geopolitical risk, Starbucks has been aggressively implementing a strategy to expand their presence in China, already its second largest market after the United States. We believe that the company is overexposing itself to the risks of doing business in China, without adequately considering those risks or disclosing them to shareholders. As fiduciaries to our clients, we wrote a letter to Starbucks urging the company to undertake a full and clear-eyed assessment of their exposure to China-related risks, develop a mitigation strategy, and disclose all relevant information with their shareholders.


In 2022, Southwest cancelled over 16,000 flights, leaving countless customers stranded during the busy holiday season, costing the company more than $1 billion. Despite underperformance, Southwest's executives were rewarded with outsized bonuses and compensation packages untethered to the company's performance, and instead based on ESG metrics. As fiduciaries to our clients, we wrote a letter to Southwest urging the company to make all business decisions through the lens of maximizing long-term financial value for shareholders, without regard for extraneous social or environmental goals.


On behalf of our clients, we expressed concerns over McDonald's pursuit of value-destroying and potentially illegal diversity policies, particularly in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. In a letter to the CEO & Chairman, we outline the legal and business risks associated with those policies and urge McDonald’s to prioritize the financial interests of shareholders by rescinding its diversity targets, denouncing discrimination, and committing to merit-based decision-making.


In 2021, the biggest asset managers helped get activists elected to Exxon’s board. On behalf of our clients, we engaged with Exxon, privately meeting with CEO Darren Woods to express our concerns over non-financially motivated mandates advanced by new board members and recommended adding board candidates committed to maximizing value. A few weeks later, that’s exactly what Exxon did, announcing the addition of two well-qualified directors to its board.


In 2022, the Walt Disney Company’s approval rating plummeted following company’s public embrace of controversial political positions. We believe that companies should only be involved in political engagement on issues that are germane to driving shareholder value. We engaged with them to ensure they commit to making all decisions based on the long-term profitability of Disney and return to their mission and status as a beloved American brand. 


In 2021, BlackRock and other large asset managers forced Apple to conduct a racial equity audit, against the recommendation of Apple’s board of directors. We believe these audits distract leadership and employees from focusing on core business concerns, with zero evidence that they increase shareholder value. We engaged with Apple to rescind any commitments to an audit and commit to make all employment decisions on merit.


In 2021, large asset managers, including BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard, voted against the recommendation of Chevron’s board to require the company to reduce its Scope 3 emissions. On behalf of our clients, we engaged with Chevron’s CEO and board, reminding them of their fiduciary obligation to the actual shareholders and not the institutions that claim to represent the owners while prioritizing other stakeholders.

Learn More About Strive

Voting Guide

Take a deep dive into how we vote and why with our Proxy Voting Guide.

Voting History

Our commitment to maximizing value is demonstrated through our votes.

Why Strive?

Discover what makes Strive different and why you should choose Strive.