NorthStar Asset Management Cements the Value of Diversity with IDEXX Labs
May 6, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston, MA – NorthStar Asset Management, Inc., a Boston-based socially responsible investment firm, announced successful negotiations with IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ: IDXX) regarding proxy booklet disclosures explicitly describing the company’s focus on the diversity of the Board of Directors and senior management.
Since 2014, NorthStar has completed nine successful engagements with corporations regarding diversity on boards of directors, including IDEXX last year. For the 2016 proxy season, NorthStar also filed a shareholder proposal at three companies asking each to consider putting a financial metric in place, when setting CEO pay, which is related to diversity in senior management. “IDEXX Laboratories was quite responsive to our shareholder proposal,” explained NorthStar CEO Julie Goodridge. “They are working diligently to increase diversity in upper management, and were very open to solidifying the company’s dedication to diversity by disclosing this commitment in the proxy statement.”
IDEXX Laboratories’ proxy statement, released recently to announce its 2016 annual meeting, includes the following statement (emphasis added):
We believe that diversity among our employees and senior management including, but not limited to, gender and ethnic diversity helps drive both innovation and a better understanding of our increasingly global customer base. Throughout our Company, we seek to employ a broad representation of gender, ethnic, and racial backgrounds in all levels of management and on the Board. We believe that senior management and Directors with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, education, skills and business knowledge will contribute to our Company’s effectiveness and, thus, we are focused on ensuring that a wide range of backgrounds and experiences are represented in our Company and on our Board. We actively seek out highly qualified diverse candidates (including gender and ethnically diverse candidates) to include in each pool of potential senior management and Board nominees, and we consider the value of diversity of all types when evaluating nominees and assessing our Board members and senior-level management.
Additionally, IDEXX added an element to the disclosure on the executive compensation program specifically related to diversity, stating that “We actively seek highly qualified diverse candidates (including gender and ethnically diverse candidates) to include in the pool for potential senior management.”
NorthStar Asset Management, Inc., a 25 year veteran in socially responsible investing, analyzes all investment opportunities through its unique perspective, which includes a commitment to social change. “We consider it a fiduciary duty to engage with the companies in which we invest to improve the company’s standing on such issues as human rights, the environment, diversity, employee relations, immigration, and LGBT equality,” explained Goodridge. “The commitment by IDEXX, a leader in its field, paves the way for other corporations to realize that true diversity on the board and in upper management is not only financially good for the company, but is also an ethical imperative.”
NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. is a wealth management company based in Boston with a focus on socially responsible investing. At NorthStar, creative shareholder engagement is a positive force for change.
Contact: Julie Goodridge
NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.