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Citigroup and Exxon Must Let Investors Vote on ESG Issues

  • SEC denies companies’ requests to exclude resolutions
  • Citi proposal is on racial equality; Exxon’s is on climate
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Citigroup Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. will have to let shareholders vote on resolutions tied to race and climate change -- an early sign that U.S. regulators are less likely to side with companies on environmental, social and governance issues under President Joe Biden.

Citigroup asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to let it exclude a proposal from CtW Investment Group that called for the bank to perform an audit on racial equity. Exxon requested the agency let it block a resolution from BNP Paribas Asset Management that urged the oil giant to report if, and how, its lobbying activities aligned with global efforts to fight global warming.