Severance pay appears to have driven notable shareholder dissention in France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, and Austria with many shareholders taking issue with the magnitude of payments.

November 6, 2023

In Focus: 2023 Europe Proxy Season Recap

In Focus: 2023 Europe Proxy Season Recap

Below is an excerpt from ISS’ recently released report “In Focus: 2023 Europe Proxy Season Recap”. The full paper is available for download from the ISS Governance online library.

Following the turbulent pandemic epoch, the 2022 European AGM season provided a welcomed return to normalcy, but in 2023 companies continued to confront an assortment of challenges including weak economic growth, inflation, ongoing supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine. In addition to the usual high-profile topic of executive remuneration, which was impacted this year by the inflationary economic environment and the potential for windfall gains, other themes such as controversial board elections and heightened investor expectations around the inclusion of ESG performance metrics in pay were observed. Non-financial reporting also remained a key topic, with several European markets taking steps to improve their regulatory frameworks, particularly in anticipation of the rollout of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). Additionally, some European countries adopted permanent legislation to regulate the shareholder meeting format, clearing the way for companies to amend their articles of association to allow for permanent virtual-only general meetings.

By: Robbert Gerritsen

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