42 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2009 Last revised: 18 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 17, 2010
This article reviews recent research into corporate voting and elections. Regulatory reforms have given shareholders more voting power in the election of directors and in executive compensation issues. Shareholders use voting as a channel of communication with boards of directors, and protest voting can lead to significant changes in corporate governance and strategy. Some investors have embraced innovative “empty voting” strategies for decoupling voting rights from cash flow rights, enabling them to mount aggressive programs of shareholder activism. Market-based methods have been used by researchers to establish the value of voting rights and show how this value can vary in different settings.
Keywords: Empty voting, broker voting, say on pay, shareholder activism
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By Kevin Murphy