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Statistical data on trends in shareholder voting and activism


For the study reported in the article below, see


Source: IR Magazine, May 2, 2014 article

Shareholder activism rises, finds Broadridge study

May 2, 2014 | By Adam Brown

ProxyPulse study shows higher retail share ownership and rising scrutiny of pay

Shareholder activism has risen sharply, support for directors of small companies has fallen and retail shareholding is up, according to a study by investor communications firm Broadridge Financial Solutions.

Broadridge’s ProxyPulse study, based mainly on 2013 data, also shows an increase in the adoption of electronic proxy material and executive pay coming under rising scrutiny. Based on early indications for 2014, the subjects and trends witnessed last year will probably persist, the firm notes.

‘Increased shareholder activism, decreased support for smaller company directors and increased retail investor ownership of public companies are some of the key findings of the 2014 first edition of ProxyPulse,’ Broadridge states.

The study reveals a 69 percent increase in the number of exempt solicitations in 2013 to 22 from 13 in 2012, while the number of proxy contests rose 10 percent to 64 from 58. The main governance-related issues last year, as in 2012, were board declassification, independent board chairs and corporate political spending disclosure.

The study also shows that retail share ownership rose to account for 44 percent of the shares of companies that held investor meetings in the second half of 2013, or the fall mini-season. The percentage of those shares voted, however, dropped to 27 percent in the fall from 29 percent in the spring.

Support for executive compensation plans registered a drop in the second half of 2013 from the same period in 2012, with the number of companies receiving 70 percent or more votes in favor of their plans declining to 82 percent from 89 percent.

‘In addition, a greater percentage of investors than directors believe directors should consider modifying executive compensation plans at lower levels of negative say-on-pay voting,’ Broadridge adds.

The study further shows that the average portion of shares voted in favor of directors dropped two percentage points to 92 percent. The drop is particularly pronounced at small-cap companies, where 7 percent of directors received less than 70 percent support. At micro-cap companies, the figure is 10 percent.


This Forum program was open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests in the development of marketplace standards for expanded access to information for securities valuation and shareholder voting decisions. As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the purpose of this public Forum's program was to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant was expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

This Forum program was initiated in 2012 in collaboration with The Conference Board and with Thomson Reuters support of communication technologies to address issues and objectives defined by participants in the 2010 "E-Meetings" program relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices. The website is being maintained to provide continuing reports of the issues addressed in the program, as summarized in the January 5, 2015 Forum Report of Conclusions.

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