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2020 AGM Season Forecast

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The ever-changing corporate landscape is making the AGM season a more uncertain time.

In the UK, proxy adviser influence increased significantly, by 3.3% of the issued share capital of the average FTSE Company in just one year. More directors were held to account with higher votes against Remuneration Committee members. Investors became more courageous, voting against large salary increases, high pensions, egregious recruitment packages and LTIPs with adjustments to in-flight targets for share price falls.

In 2020, we are expecting more developments. Challenges will come from increasingly confident investors and proxy advisors whose expectations are likely to be higher than the new codes and standards. We also predict much discussion about sustainability, thanks to the Section 172 Statement requirement in the UK and diversity, thanks to the Boardroom Accountability Project 3.0 in the US.

To help you prepare for 2020, the key themes we therefore focus on in this report are: 

  • Regulatory Impacts What new and updated regulation do you need to be aware of and how can you prepare? 
  • Executive Compensation What are the proxy advisor and investor trends to be aware of when developing your remuneration policy? 
  • Environmental, Social and Governance Issues Why is sustainability continuing to grow in importance and what are the opportunities and risks? 
  • Board Accountability Where are shareholders and proxy firms likely to place pressure on boards?
  • Shareholder Activism What can 2019 tell us about how likely a shareholder spring is in 2020, and how can you prevent activism at your own AGM?

A downloadable white paper is available: