Proxy Season: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?
Friday, September 18, 2020
Posted by: Tanya Guy
This year’s proxy season was anything but “business as usual.” As COVID-19 abruptly disrupted life in countless ways and the country grappled with huge social issues, these factors affected how annual meetings took place and what shareholders expected from publicly traded companies in 2020.
The pandemic forced a sudden shift to fully virtual meetings – a new experience for most companies and their shareholders. Meanwhile, gender fairness issues and racial tensions across the country led shareholders to question the composition of boards and c-suite executive teams, and leadership pay structures. Indeed, the issues of 2020’s proxy season reflected the larger issues of society as a whole.
Having experienced the topsy-turvy twists and turns of 2020, issuers are now looking ahead to 2021’s proxy season. What does the future hold for annual meetings? If the pandemic results in another year of virtual annual meetings, how will they evolve? What ESG issues will influence shareholder proposals?
Although this year taught us anything can happen 2020’s lessons and trends can provide a glimpse into the crystal ball for next year. To help members consider the implications of proxy season trends, SSA has assembled a panel of esteemed experts to review 2020’s proxy season and look forward to next year.
Join Brian Valerio and Jim Miller from Alliance Advisors, and Ning Chiu from Davis Polk on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. EDT for SSA’s insightful 2020 Proxy Season Review and Look Ahead webinar. They will provide a recap of the big issues influencing this year’s elections and shareholder proposals, and will help attendees anticipate the issues their companies may face next year.