A Preliminary Review of the 2018 US Proxy Season

A Preliminary Review of the 2018 US Proxy Season

JULY 20, 2018

The 2018 U.S. proxy season is now complete, with approximately 85 percent of Russell 3000 firms having held their annual shareholder meetings by June 30. As a preamble to ISS’s post-season review reports, we take a look at some of the key takeaways from the 2018 proxy season.

Board election vote results tell a complex story, whereby average rates of support have not changed, but investors appear to place greater scrutiny on a wider range of topics. In compensation, we see an uptick in votes against say-on-pay proposals, potentially as a response to record-level payouts and CEO pay increases. On the shareholder proposals front, individual investors seemed determined to make headway on issues such as special meeting rights, independent board chair, and the ability to act by written consent. Meanwhile, environmental and social issues continue to gain momentum, with high levels of support and a record number of withdrawn proposals.

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