July 25, 2013
A recent update on the status of shareholder resolutions during the 2013 proxy season by Amy Gibson and her colleagues at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher shows that as of July 9, shareholder proposals had increased by more than 10 percent over 2012 and that limitations on the accelerated vesting of equity awards had moved into the top five most common proposals submitted. According to the Gibson Dunn update, in 2013. 820 shareholder proposals have been submitted so far this year compared to 739 in all of 2012, and the SEC was slightly less likely to exclude shareholder proposals than in 2012.
With respect to the most frequent executive compensation resolutions, consistent with trends we reported earlier this year:
Although the accelerated vesting and stock retention proposals received in excess of 40% support in some cases, neither experienced majority support.
The update also details results of significant governance-related shareholder proposals such as political spending disclosures, which again was the most common shareholder resolution in 2013 and independent chair proposals, as well as the success of companies in asking the SEC to exclude shareholder resolutions.