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NEW YORK, N.Y., November 10, 2020 – Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic limiting in-person events and meetings this proxy season, many companies were able to hold their shareholder meetings online, with voting participation reaching a 14-year high, according to the annual ProxyPulse™ report released today. The number of virtual shareholder meetings (VSMs) rose by over 500% to 1,494 in the first six months alone, compared to 248 during the same period in 2019.
“Management teams got the job done with little time to prepare and nimbly switched to online-only meetings,” said Chuck Callan, SVP, Regulatory Affairs at Broadridge. “Shareholders were understanding of the need for a shift in format and attendance rose online.”
“As more shareholders engaged in governance matters, we saw proxy voting rates hit a 14-year high,” according to Paul DeNicola, Principal, PwC’s Governance Insights Center.
Additionally, many institutional investors emphasized the need for companies to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, and notable developments were made in environmental disclosures and board diversity.
The report, published by Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) and the Governance Insights Center at PwC US, features voting trends covering the 3,844 public company annual shareholder meetings held between January 1 and June 30, 2020. The report highlights voting trends over the past five proxy seasons.
Download the full report here.
Additional Key Takeaways
ESG, Say-on-Pay, and Political Spending
VSM Usage and Engagement Varied by Meeting
The ProxyPulse report is based in part on Broadridge’s processing of shares held in street names, which accounts for more than 80% of all shares outstanding in U.S. publicly listed companies. Shareholder voting trends during a proxy season represent a snapshot in time and may not be predictive of full-year results.
ProxyPulse is a collaboration between Broadridge, a leading provider of investor communications solutions, and PwC’s Governance Insights Center, a group that supports directors, executives and investors with governance knowledge. Visit ProxyPulse.com to access the full report.
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