2019 Proxy Season Review (July 2019)

July 30, 2019

Shirley Westcott

The below is an overview of the 2019 proxy season trends:Environmental and social (E&S) issues continued to dominate the shareholder proposal landscape this proxy season with submissions outpacing those on governance and compensation for a third year running. However, this year social issues took center stage, securing 11 majority votes—nearly matching last year’s record 12 majority votes across all E&S categories.Political spending resolutions vaulted to the top of the list among E&S submissions, a trend that is likely to continue next year in the runup to the 2020 presidential elections.Climate change resolutions, on the other hand, grew scarcer due to successful engagements and a high degree of omissions, largely on ordinary business and substantial implementation grounds.Submissions of governance resolutions were in their third year of decline, primarily due to a sizable drop in proxy access proposals.The compensation lineup produced two majority votes on clawback provisions, which saw a resurgence in filings last year as part of an investor campaign targeting opioid manufacturers.

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