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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
Source: James McRitchie,CorpGov.net
The cartoon at left accompanied an article entitled Where are the funds? (Pensions & Investments, 3/5/2012) P&I lamented, “instead of sitting on the sidelines, activist investors should take advantage of the opportunity to file...
There will be no cake, balloons, or formal ceremony on July 30, 2012, but it’s an important anniversary in corporate America. It is the tenth anniversary of the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley, the landmark legislation intended to...
July 30, 2012 Warren Buffett’s Eight Rules for a Great Annual LetterSource: Directorship.com
On Feb. 25, 2012, the best oddsmaker in America— who happens to live not in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, but in Omaha—penned his annual letter to shareholders on the bets placed the year before. To translate the dry, quantitative...
NEW YORK -- A new Ernst & Young LLP report - Four key trends of the 2012 proxy season - reveals four emerging governance trends: the impact of say-on-pay (SOP) goes beyond compensation; shareholder proposal topics shift and...
July 26, 2012 This Proxy Season’s Mid-Year TrendsSource: Business 2 Community.com
Proxy season kicked off with a flurry of headlines this spring about investor revolts. Shareholders in the United States loudly voted down Citigroup chairman Vikram Pandit’s $15 million pay package, and days later, investors on...
July 24, 2012 How shareholders are learning to say "Yes, but"Source: GreenBiz
Socially responsible investors have long practiced the art of saying no. Now, many are learning that saying "Yes, but" can be just as effective -- and sometimes even more so. A growing number of investors are using the power of...
Source: Triple Pundit
The end of every proxy voting season provides some interesting outlook on the progress of sustainability in the business world. This year was no different. 2012 season was busy as always – investors, as Ceres reports,...
July 19, 2012 New Podcast: Season-end report for the 2012 proxy seasonSource: Point of Law
In addition to the recent release of his season-end finding for the 2012 proxy season, Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy Director James Copland also participated in a podcast discussing the report. Center for Legal...
July 18, 2012 What to do With Proxies That You Get in the MailSource: Fox Business News
Proxy season may be winding down, but next year's voting season will be here sooner than you realize. If you're at all interested in influencing corporate governance, then learn the ins and outs of proxy voting before your...
He attends on behalf of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and usually speaks on companies' human rights records and environmental practices. He thinks she brings up valid issues, but he's unimpressed by...
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