Shareholders Monthly archive

Dec 23, 2020
The story behind HP’s award-winning AGM
HP’s 2020 virtual AGM was not its first rodeo – the company has been holding its annual shareholder meetings online since 2015. But there was a wrinkle: HP was the subject of a proxy contest and hostile tender offer brought by Xerox Corporation. HP was planning to hold an in-person AGM in late spring because of the technical and procedural limitations associated with a proxy contest, which typically do not allow the issue to be resolved via a virtual meeting. HP...
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Dec 18, 2020
Starting a new governance journey at Nuance
Wendy Cassity, executive vice president and chief legal officer at Nuance Communications, joined the company in late 2018 with a mandate to bring about a major overhaul of the company’s governance. And Cassity and her new, hand-picked team have delivered just that. As the company says in its submission: ‘Nuance was ready for change. After years of stagnant growth and unresponsive management, there was nowhere to go but up.’ Just 8 percent of votes cast ...
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Dec 18, 2020
PepsiCo finds governance success through evolution
‘Leadership across the board’ is how one of the Corporate Secretary judges describes PepsiCo’s governance team, which has looked to move the ball forward in a variety of areas over the past year or so. One of those areas is improving the proxy statement. When putting together the 2020 version, the governance team drew on investor feedback to focus on six areas: (1) board composition, diversity and refreshment, and leadership structure; (2) long-term strategy, ...
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Dec 17, 2020
Corporate access teams playing role in off-season engagement
As off-season shareholder engagement continues to rise, buy-side corporate access teams are stepping in to assist with the meetings – either formally or informally. For most issuers, there has been a sharp increase in investor meetings this year as the ease of virtual conferencing has played a part. This engagement has carried through to the off-season, when governance professionals and board directors tend to meet with the stewardship and responsible investment t...
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Dec 10, 2020
Comment: Take care when considering buybacks
Buybacks have undergone a meteoric rise since the turn of the 21st century, overtaking dividends as the preferred means to return capital to shareholders in many countries. In 2019 alone, firms spent more than $1.2 trillion globally on buybacks. Buybacks are controversial, however, with academics, practitioners and politicians all maligning their use. At its most basic level, buying back shares can be a technical capital allocation tool and an attractive alternative...
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