SWIPRA AGM Analysis 2018



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Zurich, July 3, 2018  - In this proxy season, fewer annual general meetings (AGM) were subject to a controversial public debate than in the past years. Yet, the SWIPRA AGM Analysis shows that voting results overall had the same level of dissent as the previous year. In addition, several new developments could be observed:

  • For the first time since the introduction of the Ordinance against Excessive Compensation, the influence of proxy advisor recommendations on AGM results has decreased. Institutional shareholders no longer follow proxy advisors’ voting recommendations uncritically and increasingly base their voting decisions also on their own governance and voting policies, making their voting behavior less predictable for companies.
  • Influential institutional investors increasingly use a multiyear view when taking their voting decisions. They make careful use of advisory and binding votes to guide proactively the development of companies’ governance framework or to respond retrospectively to deficits. In this AGM season, shareholder dissent with compensation-related agenda items increased again for the most controversial companies.
  • In an international perspective, compensation reports of Swiss issuers continue to receive significantly more AGAINST votes than their peers in the UK or the US.
  • Minority shareholders of companies with an anchor shareholder are significantly more critical than shareholders of widely-held companies.
  • Shareholders’ voting behavior as well as proxy advisor recommendations continue to show a clear preference for female board members and issuers keep increasing the fraction of women on their boards of directors.
  • Shareholder interest in AGM participation remains high: in this AGM season, the average AGM participation rate reached 70% in the SPI100 companies.
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