ROCKVILLE, Md. (May 12, 2022) – The peak of the U.S. corporate annual meeting season will this year fall on Thursday, May 19, according to an analysis by ISS Corporate Solutions (ICS), which helps corporations design and manage corporate governance, executive compensation, and sustainability programs that align with company goals, reduce risk, and manage the needs of a diverse shareholder base.
Nearly 40 percent of all Russell 3000 companies will hold their annual meeting in May, including 237 constituents of the large-capital S&P 500, according to an ICS analysis of U.S. proxy filings through May 6. The peak day of May 19 will see 119 meetings scheduled for companies across industries, including household names such as AT&T, AvalonBay Communities, The Cheesecake Factory, Discover Financial Services, Dropbox, Home Depot, JetBlue Airways, and Western Union. The next busiest days for U.S. annual meetings will be May 18 and May 26 when 115 Russell 3000 companies convene their shareholders on each of those days, followed by May 25 when 106 firms will hold meetings.
So far in 2022, shareholder proposals with an ESG focus are growing in prevalence compared with previous years, with ICS finding a marked increase in such resolutions, including those concerning both climate and political contribution and lobbying disclosures. According to an ICS analysis of ballot items either thus far voted or pending for a vote this proxy season, the number of shareholder proposals on GHG emissions and actually put to a vote grew from just six in 2021 to 41 this year, while filings of such resolutions quadrupled in 2022 jumping to 80 from just 20 last year. Notably, the number of such proposals filed but withdrawn by proponents is up nearly three-fold over 2021, suggesting engagement with targeted companies is resulting in compromise that would implement some or portions of proponent requests relating to GHG emissions.
“Following last year’s record for majority shareholder support on climate proposals and the success of the landmark climate-related proxy contest at Exxon, it’s not surprising we’re now seeing a surge in GHG resolutions alongside a high-rate of withdrawal,” said ICS Managing Director, Cameron O’Neill. “Based on the results of these resolutions over the past five years, we expect to see 17 or more achieve support levels at or greater than 30 percent, which is generally viewed by proponents as a successful outcome, and seven likely to receive majority support marking an all-time high.”
Meanwhile, the number of political contribution disclosure proposals filed this year is the highest it has been since 2014, while political lobbying disclosure shareholder proposals set a new high-water mark this year with 42 on ballots thus far.
“Shareholder requests for political lobbying disclosures are growing in tandem with a charged political environment in the U.S. and that trend will likely continue, if not accelerate, as corporations are drawn into developments tied to Roe vs. Wade and as other hot-button political issues come to the fore,” said O’Neill.
About ISS Corporate Solutions
Companies turn to ISS Corporate Solutions, Inc. (“ICS”) for expertise in designing and managing corporate governance, executive compensation, and sustainability programs that align with company goals, reduce risk, and manage the needs of a diverse shareholder base by delivering best-in-class data, tools, and advisory services. Our global client base extends to companies located across North America, Europe, and Asia. ICS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. ISS’ Global Research Department, which is separate from ICS, will not give preferential treatment to, and is under no obligation to support, any proxy proposal of a company (whether or not that company has purchased products or services from ICS). Similarly, ISS’ responsible investment research and analytics teams will not provide preferential treatment to, and is under no obligation to provide a favorable rating, assessment and/or any other favorable result to any corporate issuer (whether or not that corporate issuer has purchased products or services from ICS). No statement from an employee of ICS should be construed as a guarantee that ISS will (a) recommend that is clients vote in favor of any particular proxy proposal nor (b) provide a favorable rating or other assessment of any corporate issuer. For more information, please visit www.isscorporatesolutions.com.
Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.