The total number of shareholder proposals going to a vote at Equilar 500 companies has declined by 18.6% over the 2015-2019 time period according to Equilar’s Corporate Governance Outlook 2020. Proposals related to executive compensation have seen the greatest declines, falling in prevalence by 57.1% since 2015. The reason for the decline in compensation proposals is not entirely clear. However, the proportion of all shareholder proposals focused on environmental and social issues has increased from 40.3% in 2015 to 44.5% in 2019, and it may be that shareholders inclined to submit proposals are concentrating on different issues. Further, the combination of more critical say-on-pay voting (see below) and increased shareholder engagement efforts has served to reduce the number of executive compensation-related proposals.
- 86% discussed shareholder engagement policies in 2019, up from 69.4% in 2015.
- 31% disclosed policies on ESG issues, up from just 1% in 2015.
- 67% provided board evaluation disclosures, up from 28.6% in 2015.
- 35.7% disclosed CEO succession plans in 2019, up from 23.5% in 2015.
- The percentage of Equilar 500 companies receiving more than 95% support has declined from 51.1% in 2015 to 35% in 2019.
- Companies receiving between 90-95% support rose over that same period from 26.2% to 39.7%.
- Companies receiving less than 50% support rose slightly, from 0.9% in 2015 to 1.7% in 2019.