What Else Do Shareholders Want? Shareholder Proposals Contested by Firm Management
48 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2016 Last revised: 23 Oct 2017
Date Written: July 14, 2017
Shareholder proposals provide investors an opportunity to exercise their decision rights within firms, but managers can seek permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to dismiss proposals. We find that managers seek to exclude 39% of all proposals they receive, but the SEC does not permit exclusion in over a quarter of cases. Of the proposals that managers’ contest, but the SEC does not allow exclusion, 21% go on to win shareholder or firm support suggesting that managers often seek to exclude legitimate shareholder interests from their proxy statements. Our analysis illuminates the role that regulators play in mediating differences between firms and shareholders.
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