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How the U.K.’s “shareholder spring” has put compliance in the driver’s seat

for DeAnnEvery once in a while, something arresting comes along in corporate governance that qualifies as a tipping point. Last year, it was the tide of votes in favor of proxy access resolutions. Once a surefire polarizer, access now seems almost a non-issue that will take root without drama at many companies. In 2016 the stunner with such potential was last month’s say-on-pay vote at BP. Might it be a harbinger of higher levels of scrutiny of executive compensation by institutional investors?

On Thursday, April 14 a jaw-dropping 59 percent of investors voted no confidence in the oil giant board’s compensation policies,...

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