Tag archives: proxy access

Glass Lewis’ 2018 Canada Policy Guidelines on Proxy Advice

Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (Glass Lewis), a leading governance and proxy voting firm, has recently released its 2018 Policy Guidelines for Proxy Advice in Canada.  The following are three of its key changes from the 2017 Policy Guidelines:

Board Gender Diversity

In the new year, Glass Lewis will not make voting recommendations solely on the basis of board diversity. However, starting in 2019, Glass Lewis claims that it will generally recommend voting against the nominating committee chair of a board that has no female members, or has not adopted a formal written gender diversity policy. This … Continue Reading

Proxy access: wrong for Canadian companies, wrong for Canada

In our latest memo, members of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Canadian Special Situations team weigh in on proxy access. The memo is written by Walied Soliman and Orestes Pasparakis, Partners and Co-Chairs of our Canadian Special Situations team, and Joe Bricker, Associate. The memo is reproduced below:

Recently, two prominent Canadian companies became the first major issuers to adopt proxy access policies.

These policies allow shareholders to nominate directors to serve on a company’s board and have their nominees featured in management’s circular and form of proxy. Typically, they afford nomination rights to one or more shareholders (up to 20) who … Continue Reading

Key takeaways from the 2016 proxy season in the US

The EY Centre for Board Matters (EYC) recently published its annual report setting out key takeaways from 2016’s proxy season in the United States. Canadian issuers should take note of the developments in the US as trends south of the border will impact the proxy landscape in Canada.

Investor Communications

One of the takeaways from the 2016 proxy season was that proxy circulars have developed into a tool for communication to investors. For more companies, this annual disclosure is being used to engage investors by communicating companies’ goals and guiding principles.

Further, over the last few years, proxy … Continue Reading

The State of Proxy Access Reforms

With the rise of shareholder activism led by what some refer to as “constructivists”, “reluctavists” or “suggestivists” (and, yet others, those who commit “extortion”), shareholders have become increasingly distrustful of leaving matters of corporate governance to management and boards. One tool that investors can rely on is exercising rights pursuant to a proxy access by-law, or, in Canada, the statutory rights of certain shareholders.

Proxy access is about enabling shareholders to influence who governs a company, and by extension, how the company proceeds with its affairs. It expands the activist shareholder’s quiver of offensive … Continue Reading

Glass Lewis’ 2016 Canada Policy Guidelines

Last week, Glass Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis), a top governance analysis and proxy voting firm, released its 2016 proxy season guidelines for Canada and the United States, as well as its guidelines for evaluating shareholder initiatives.

Here, we summarize what’s new in Glass Lewis’ 2016 Canada Policy Guidelines (the Guidelines) for the upcoming 2016 proxy season:

  • Dual-listed Companies – when making recommendations in relation to companies listed on exchanges in more than one country, Glass Lewis will consider the location of the company’s primary exchange listing, its corporate governance and other features to determine
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Key takeaways from the first half of 2015

ISS’ preliminary postseason review for 2015 provides a report on U.S. activism trends in 2015.  ISS identifies five key takeaways from the first half of 2015:

  • Proxy access proposals arrived in a big way this season, with almost 120 proposals and average votes in favour of 54.4% (a jump of more than 20 percentage points from 2014). A typical proposal grants shareholders who have held 3% of the company’s shares for 3 years the ability to include, in the company’s management proxy circular, nominees for up to 25 per cent of the board.  As discussed in our previous posts by
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The CCGG makes a push for enhanced proxy access

The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) recently released its much anticipated policy paper on “proxy access”, a term which refers to shareholders’ conceptual right  to nominate directors and have those nominees placed on management’s ballot. The CCGG takes the position that this right, which is supplemental to a shareholders right to elect directors, “is an essential component of shareholder democracy”. In a previous post, Kaitlind de Jong reported on the efforts the CCGG has undertaken to promote enhanced proxy access for shareholders in Canadian public companies prior to the release of its policy.

Current best practices in Canada … Continue Reading

Hot topic: Proxy access

The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (the “CCGG”) has stated that proxy access is high on their agenda. Proxy access generally refers to the ability of shareholders to nominate their own candidates for the board and have those nominees included in management proxy materials alongside management nominees. The CCGG is in the process of drafting its policy on the topic.

Stephen Erlichman, the Executive Director of the CCGG, summarized the CCGG’s concerns with the current Canadian proxy access approach:

“We have no proxy access in Canada other than this provision in most of the corporate statutes that … Continue Reading

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