Think you are all set for proxy season? Think again. 2011 saw many changes affecting proxy matters but this coming proxy season is sure to require more adjustments for corporate secretaries and their legal teams.
According to polls conducted at today’s Corporate Secretary Webinar: 2012 Proxy Season Outlook, the greatest concerns for corporate officers about the next proxy season are proxy access, shareholder activism and pay for performance alignment policies.
The panelists included Ron Schneider, senior vice president, Phoenix Advisory Partners, George Sampas, partner, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Stephen Brown, director of corporate governance, TIAA-CREF.
‘The audience concerns match and mirror the clients’ concerns, like say-on-pay,’ said Sampas. ‘A lot of people are focused on proxy access and our recommendation to our clients is they should start focusing more on this area.’
The event addressed key issues that will determine company’s governance performance in the coming year.
‘The big story for next year is say on pay and very clearly investors’ expectations are rising,’ says Schneider. ‘They want more from the company in future years.’
Another poll revealed that the biggest adjustment to past practice that companies will make for this coming season is increased direct communication with shareholders (63 per cent); just 7 per cent think firms will significantly change compensation policies.
Click here to view slides from today’s 2012 Proxy Season Outlook. Recordings will be available. Expect full coverage of this event in our December issue.
[Article by Aarti Maharaj, Corporate Secretary]