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2014 Proxy Season: Less Contention, but Still Work to Do

Karen Kroll | June 24, 2014

The 2014 proxy season—now in its final weeks—is shaping up to be a relatively quiet one, as investor gadflies and proposals on social issues gained little support from fellow shareholders. Companies also generally fared better on “say-on-pay” votes.

Some governance watchers attribute the lack of friction during this proxy season to the dialogue many companies had begun with shareholders long before the annual meeting.  “The contention is coming down,” says Charles Elson, professor of finance and director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. “Management is much more in tune to what shareholders are saying compared to five years ago; they're more sensitive to these issues.” While the two sides may not be completely in sync, they're closer, Elson adds.

There were also fewer proposals to clash over. ...

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