During our recent webcast – “Proxy Season Post-Mortem – 20 Things” – at the 4:45 mark, Proxy Analytics’ Steve Pantina notes these developments during his discussion about the rise in shareholder proposal activity:
-Some investors and trade associations will disclose the shareholder proposals on their website that they intend to submit to companies for the coming proxy season. This may happen as early as September or October and can be incredibly helpful to know what topics will be hot for that proxy season.
– There may even be “Resolved” statements in these “preview” posts, which can be helpful in knowing how some investors are tweaking proposals as compared to proposals submitted in the past.
– As of the date of the webcast, the team has tracked 952 shareholder proposals submitted in this last proxy season (includes proposals that were withdrawn) – an increase of approximately 19%. Part of the increase might be due to the change in the SEC’s position about how Rule 14a-8 would be applied, but also reflects a continued interested in environmental and social issues.
– Overall, there was a 93% increase in E&S proposals submitted to a vote, including a doubling in the number of proposals among some sub-categories of E&S proposals. It’s unusual to even see double digit growth in one year in a category.