Corporate Governance Outlook 2021

Corporate Governance Outlook 2021, an Equilar publication, analyzes the proxy statements and shareholder voting results for Equilar 500 companies from 2016 to 2020. The Equilar 100, a subset of the largest revenue reporting companies in the Equilar 500, was manually reviewed for specific examples of disclosure in targeted areas. The publication delves into how companies must confront issues related to COVID-19 and social justice in the new year. DFIN and Hogan Lovells have provided independent commentary for context and color on companies’ approach to these critical issues and how companies should plan to prepare for 2021.

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Key Findings

  • Since 2016, the prevalence of shareholder proposals across the Equilar 500 has declined by 2.2%, settling at 360 in 2020
  • During a year of a failed Say on Pay vote, director approval rates remained above 90% across compensation committee members, compensation committee chairs and general directors
  • The percentage of Equilar 100 companies disclosing or mentioning ESG-related policies has increased significantly since 2016, with 56.1% of companies either mentioning or disclosing these types of policies in 2020
  • In 2020, 78.0% of Equilar 100 companies included board composition disclosures related to gender, while 65.0% of companies did so in relation to ethnicity or race