Equiniti Launches 2019 AGM Report

Equiniti Launches 2019 AGM Report

13 November 2019

Equiniti, the leading provider of share registration services in the UK and third largest share registrar in the US, launches its 2019 AGM Report – a comprehensive annual review of the 2018/19 AGM season.

The report analyses voting trends for remuneration policies, the (re-)appointment of auditors and Board members and contentious resolutions. It also provides expert commentary from Boudicca on the growth of shareholder activism.

Key findings:

  • Proportion of companies with under 80% approval for the remuneration report – and therefore required to explain what actions they will take to understand shareholder dissatisfaction – rises to 10.2%, up from 7.6% in 2018 and 7.4% in 2017
  • Double the number of close call resolutions (where the vote falls within 10% of the required majority) for FTSE 100 companies
  • 24 lost resolutions in 2019 across all companies surveyed, up from 19 in 2018 
  • Most contentious calls and lost resolutions are for the authority to allot shares on a non-pre-emptive basis
  • Most companies (163 – over 31% of companies surveyed) see the lowest number of votes in favour of the (re-) election of Directors, followed by Remuneration policy / report (111, 21%)
  • Average percentage of votes in favour of annual report on remuneration lowest for FTSE 100 companies (92.7%)
  • Votes in favour of auditor’s re-appointment remain very high for FTSE 100 (98.7%) and FTSE 250 (98.8%) companies 
  • Number of companies receiving less than 80% of votes in favour of the Chair increases to 11%

 

Lisa Graham, Head of Meetings at Equiniti, commented: “Corporate governance remains high on the agenda for businesses of all sizes, even more so following the introduction of the new UK Corporate Governance Code and new remuneration reporting requirements.

“Shareholders are becoming increasingly forthright in their demands around remuneration packages, and due to the three-year cycle, we expect it see a spike in remuneration policy resolutions in 2020. It will be interesting to analyse how investors respond to these resolutions, particularly among companies that have not delivered strong financial or operational results.” 

“We expect to see the spotlight intensify on ESG concerns over the coming 12 months particularly regarding diversity at Board level and the impact of business on the environment. Auditors should also expect to receive a high-level of scrutiny due to high-profile scandals that have emerged recently.”   

Sheryl Cuisia, Managing Director of Boudicca Proxy, commented: “2019 has been another busy year for shareholder activism as activists can increasingly rely on investors’ support for changes in company strategy where this is required.

“Shareholder engagement, consultation and responsiveness are key to mitigating dissent and the threat of activism. If practices can be amended and improved much earlier in the time-horizon ahead of any AGM, last-minute firefighting can be avoided.” 

 

ENDS

 

For more information:

Temple Bar Advisory

William Barker / Sam Livingstone
Tel: 078 2796 0151 / 077 6965 5437
Email: williamb@templebaradvisory.com / saml@templebaradvisory.com

 

Notes to Editor:

About Equiniti Group

Equiniti Group plc, an international technology-led services and payments specialist, provides non-discretionary payment and administration services to some of the world’s best-known brands and UK’s largest public-sector organisations.

It is the UK’s leading provider of share registration, employee share plans, and associated investor services, and also has market leading positions in pension administration and software, and employee benefit schemes.

Equiniti’s services, which are delivered by over 5,000 employees, benefit 36 million people in the UK, US and 120 other countries around the world.

We have detected that you are in United States. We think that Equiniti US would be more suited to deal with your needs.