Advancing Board Declassification in the 2013 Proxy Season
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation 2012-11-29
In joint press releases issued earlier this week, the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) and each of eight institutional investors it represents announced their collaboration for the 2013 proxy season to encourage 74 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 public companies to move to annual elections. The SRP has submitted shareholder proposals on behalf of the eight SRP-represented investors for a vote at the 2013 annual meetings of 74 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies. A list of the 74 companies that received proposals is available here. The proposals urge repeal of the companies’ staggered boards and a move to annual elections.
The SRP and SRP-represented investors have already begun to engage with companies receiving shareholder declassification proposals, and some of the companies receiving shareholder proposals have already agreed to take steps necessary to declassify their boards. It is expected that, as occurred during the 2012 proxy season, the engagement by the SRP and SRP-represented investors will result in negotiated outcomes and moves to annual elections at a large proportion of the 74 companies receiving proposals.