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What Have We Learned About Shareholder Voting Behavior?

Looking back at the 2013 fall mini-season and into the 2014 spring proxy season.

The first 2014 edition of ProxyPulseTM covers key trends from the 2013 fall “mini-season” (shareholder meetings held July 1 - December 31, 2013) and offers perspectives on early developments for the 2014 Spring proxy season.  Key findings include:

  • Director support has slipped modestly – in all company size segments, there were decreases in the number of directors that attained at least 90% support and increases in the number that slipped into the 70-89% support category.
  • More pressure on executive compensation – there was a 7 percentage point decrease in the number of pay plans that attained support of at least 79% of their shares.
  • Shareholder activism is on the rise – as measured by year-over-year increases in the number of contested solicitations and exempt solicitations.
  • Retail share ownership as a proportion of all street ownership was high, at 44%. But retail voters as a group voted only 27% of the shares they owned. There are opportunities to improve engagement with all shareholders.


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