Four Takeaways from Proxy Season 2016

Active—not just activist—institutional investors are reshaping the corporate governance landscape and challenging how boards think about fundamental issues such as strategy, risk, capital allocation and board composition. Large asset managers are increasingly outspoken on governance expectations and urging companies to think long term—and also making clear that they view corporate governance not as a compliance exercise but as an ownership responsibility tied to investment value and risk mitigation. Companies are responding to investor demands for increased board accountability and transparency. They are enhancing communications with investors to share the board’s message on governance and strategy and highlight director qualifications and board responsiveness to investor concerns. Against this backdrop of increased company-shareholder engagement and evolving disclosure practices, investor support for directors and company pay programs remains high.

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