SWIPRA AGM Analysis 2019
SWIPRA AGM Analysis
Swiss AGM Season 2018/2019: Shareholders and Proxy Advisors assess Board members more critically
For the first time, the most critical board elections received more votes against than the most critical compensation items. In the 10% most contested elections to the board of directors, the median proportion of against votes rose to over 20%. Shareholders voted against the election of the nominated board members mainly out of concerns about their independence, followed by doubts about the expected availability of the designated directors. Minority shareholders in companies with an anchor shareholder voted more negatively than shareholders in broadly held companies, especially in the most critical elections to the board, which are very important for minority shareholders. The increased focus of shareholders on board elections, which continue to be judged frequently on the basis of proxy advisor recommendations, increased the influence of proxy advisors, above all ISS. The diversity of the members of the board increased again: Boards became more international and more female. The proportion of newly elected women on boards of Swiss companies reached a new high. The votes on the remuneration report were less critical this season. This is largely due to improved disclosure and adjustments in the compensation systems by companies, rather than a diminishing attention on the part of investors. The latter keep the pressure high: if a company does not react to a compensation-related concern, the median of votes against compensation reports quickly rises to 30% and more.
These are some of the key findings of SWIPRA Services' analysis of the AGMs of the 100 largest listed Swiss companies between July 2018 and June 2019.
SWIPRA AGM Analysis 2018: Newsletter
SWIPRA AGM Analysis 2017: Newsletter
SWIPRA AGM Analysis 2016: Newsletter