- Rates of voting vary substantially between institutional and retail shareholders. On average, institutions owned approximately 67% and retail shareholders owned 33% of street name shares. While 70% of the street name shares were voted — 60 percentage points by institutions and 10 percentage points by retail shareholders - low rates of retail shareholder participation left 70% of retail shares un-voted.
- Electronic distribution of proxy materials continues to grow — and it impacts shareholder participation. Virtually all institutional shareholders received proxy materials electronically. As for retail shareholders, 60% received materials in full paper format, 32% by electronic delivery and 8% through a mailed Notice directing them to the proxy materials posted online by the issuer (compared to 68%, 20% and 12%, respectively, in 2008). Only about 17% of the retail shares receiving a Notice mailing were voted over the last six years, compared to 36% of shares that received full paper proxy materials packages.
- Broader engagement with all shareholders could be the difference in achieving important voting benchmarks. As one example, proxy advisory firms more closely scrutinize executive compensation programs at companies that receive less than 70% approval of their prior year's executive compensation program. In situations where support levels are on the cusp of this benchmark, retail shareholder participation could move the needle. About 5% of companies that completed their annual meetings this season had Say on Pay proposal approval rates between 60% and 69% - a range where greater retail shareholder turnout could have made the difference in achieving important voting benchmarks.
Broadridge And PwC Announce New Data On 2013 Proxy Voting Trends
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