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2012 Proxy Season
The annual corporate electoral process – the proxy season for all shareholders of public corporations – is usually a period of intense communication with shareowners for public companies. Many experts think that the proxy resolution campaigns waged by shareowners signal breakdown or failure of shareowner-corporate communications and [company-stakeholder] engagement. When constructive engagement fails, shareholder campaigns often follow.
There are perennial issues for proxy time, and each year some emerging issues.
The weapons in the arsenal of the activist shareowners, especially those with critical issues in focus include the filing of shareowner-sponsored resolutions; public communications and media campaigns; coalition-building with allied investors; invitation of support by third-party issue advocates, and more.
Societal issues of great interest to activist shareowners put a sharp focus on corporate policies, strategies, operations, practices, decision-making as these affect directly and indirectly issues and concerns. These issues include policies and behavior in global supply chains, human rights, labor rights, diversity, treatment of indigenous peoples, forestry and land management, environmental management, preservation of natural resources, transparency on political contributions, frequency of say-on-pay disclosure, energy conservation, water use and water waste, majority voting, climate change risk, and more. These are the dimensions of corporate activities very much in focus for shareowners and the asset managers they hire – and will be in the 2012 corporate proxy season.
There has been a steady linkage of unacceptable behaviors -- as seen by some shareowners and advocates -- with actions on executive compensation, bringing traditional corporate governance issues (such as compensation and Say-on-Pay policies) into intersections with civil and social issues of concern.
The financial performance of the issuer is [of course] of paramount importance to asset owners and managers. Beyond the numbers, for a growing number of asset owners and managers, the corporate policies, practices, behaviors and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on ESG issues (environmental, social and governance) is now also important. For increasing numbers of investors, these are primary determinants in share price valuation, and their investment decision-making. The ESG issues are important factors at proxy time. .
Accountability Central editors present the news, commentary and research (publicly-issued) surrounding contests in the proxy arena here for your information. We’ve archived the 2008, 2009 2010, and 2011 proxy seasons content for your retrieval. All years are searchable in A-C. We invite your comments in the A-C – share your views with others interested in the corporate proxy season and the issues in the headlines.
Latest on Proxy Season 12
February 26, 2013 Investors Demand Climate-Risk Disclosure in 2013 ProxiesSource: Bloomberg
Shareholders are filing resolutions asking companies to disclose physical risks posed by climate change for the first time this proxy season, according to representatives of sustainable investor groups.
February 21, 2013 Annual Survey Shows Majority Voting Being Increasingly Embraced Even Among Smaller Companies, But Failing Incumbents Are Rarely Expected To Resign
Yahoo! Finance - NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --According to a report released today by The Conference Board in ... it to the CEO. Environmental impact and, for financial services companies, data security are among the...
February 20, 2013 Shareholders To Question Bank About Its Financing Of Climate Change
Yahoo! Finance - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has allowed Boston Common Asset Management's shareholder resolution to PNC Financial to remain on the proxy ballot. The resolution requests that PNC assess the...
February 15, 2013 CalSTRS to oppose dual chairman-CEO role at DisneySource: Reuters
The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) said on Thursday it will oppose Walt Disney Co's combination of the CEO and chairman roles, and its executive pay plan at the company's annual shareholder meeting in...
February 8, 2013 ESG issues are key this yearSource: FT Adviser
We recently conducted a survey of fund managers to canvass their views and opinions on environmental, social and governance issues because these factors are playing an increasingly prominent and integral role in our multi-manager...
February 7, 2013 Shareholder adviser ISS tightens screws on directorsSource: Thomson Reuters Westlaw
As thousands of U.S. companies prepare for their annual meetings over the coming months, the influential shareholder adviser ISS has signaled it is going to put directors on a shorter leash. ISS, the largest adviser on...
February 6, 2013 Institutional Investors, Leading Women’s Organizations Urge Russell 1000 Companies to Add Women to Their BoardsSource: Thirty Percent Coalition
Boston, MA - A large number of institutional investors with more than $1.2 trillion in assets under management, along with representatives of some of the nation’s leading women’s organizations, yesterday sent a letter to the 127...
Source: Walden Asset Management
Shareholder resolutions filed with more than 50 companies by more than 65 institutional and individual investors for 2013 BOSTON, Ma. – Investors today announced the filing of shareholder resolutions at more than 50 corporations...
February 5, 2013 Investor activism boosts shares, creates pain for bondholdersSource: Reuters
A flurry of activity by activist investors seeking to improve shareholder returns at some major US companies has cast a shadow on corporate bond markets already spooked by rising Treasury yields.
February 1, 2013 THE INTERFAITH CENTER ON CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY ISSUES 2013 PROXY RESOLUTIONS AND VOTING GUIDESource: ICCR
New York, NY - Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have released their 2013 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide including all member-sponsored shareholder proposals for the upcoming proxy...
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