Investor Voting Trends and Results

Investor Voting Trends and Results, an Equilar publication, analyzes Say on Pay and shareholder proposals and the corresponding voting results for Russell 3000 companies over the last five years. The report also analyzes Form N-PX information surrounding voting results by eight of the largest institutional investors in Russell 3000 companies in 2019. For investor data, 2019 is defined by annual meetings held between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

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Key Findings

  • The first year of the study (2016) saw the highest volume of shareholder proposals at 523. Since 2016, the prevalence of shareholder proposals declined by 17%
  • Perhaps due to stronger investor focus on pay for performance, the percentage of Russell 3000 companies receiving higher than 90% Say on Pay approval declined by 3.5% from 74.9% in 2016 to 72.3% in 2020
  • Among the largest investors, BNY Mellon voted against Say on Pay most frequently at 27.6% in 2019
  • Of ESG-related proposals, those related to political issues had the highest median approval in 2020 at 33.8%