Request for proposals: shareholder engagement


Laudes Foundation seeks an independent research team or researcher for undertaking Shareholder Engagement research. 

Complete proposals must be submitted to Nando van Kleeff by 29 April 2024 at 17:00 CET. Access the full request for proposals here.



Laudes Foundation is an independent foundation accelerating the transition to a green, fair and inclusive economy. We do this by supporting brave action that inspires and challenges industry to harness its power for good. We focus on four key industries with an outsized impact on climate change, nature and social inequality: the built environment, finance and capital markets, fashion, and food. Complementing these industry-specific initiatives, our cross-cutting work in labour rights, finance and narratives amplify our impact across all sectors.

Our Finance and Capital Markets programme has been working to create change in the financial industry since 2020. The programme invests across Europe to support the policies, pathways and accountability mechanisms to unlock the finance system. In addition it also seeks to mobilise finance to facilitate industry transitions.

The purpose of this research is to understand what constitutes effective shareholder engagement process by asset owners and asset managers in driving sustainable business practice, and what outcomes signify that the dialogue was successful. This research will feed into the wider strategy of the Finance and Capital Markets programme.

The anticipated start date of the research is 22 May 2024, and the final report must be completed and submitted by 23 October 2024.


Background and context

Active ownership or investor stewardship consists of shareholder engagement and voting. This RfP solely seeks to address shareholder engagement.

Shareholder engagement has become an increasingly important instrument for investors’ stewardship. It is widely believed that an active dialogue by shareholders with the management of companies can lead to improvements in a range of sustainability issues, including climate change mitigation,, biodiversity, human rights and other areas. There is however a lack of consolidated research regarding what makes an active dialogue successful and if so, which approaches work most successfully. This research aims to solve this problem and provide the wider finance and philanthropic community with a playbook regarding best practice in engagements.

Some research has already been undertaken in this area (see Annex 1), which we would want this work to recognise and build upon.


​​​​​​​Purpose and scope

Laudes Foundation would like to learn and help asset owners and asset managers understand effective shareholder engagement approaches, thereby supporting impact on a range of pressing issues, such as climate change. This research will be published on the Laudes Foundation website. Our working hypothesis is that shareholder engagement is an effective way to get companies to take sustainability considerations into account in their decision-making. What is less well understood is whether this is in fact the case, and if so, what types of shareholder engagement approaches show the greatest results and if investors make deliberate choices between different approaches.

This research will include (i) a literature review, (ii) an overview of shareholder engagement models, (iii) approaches, (iv) relevant frameworks (v) impacts and (vi)  opportunities and challenges in shareholder engagement approaches. Ultimately, the research should also help elaborate a model that explains expected effectiveness as a consequence of choices made in design of the engagement approach.