With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, power has shifted to shareholders. The 2011 proxy season is a game-changer as the rules require boards to seek shareholder support for compensation programs and even directorship candidates.
Directors, do you have a shareholder engagement program? Have you reviewed and assessed the board capacity for shareholder communication and dialogue? Have you discussed how you will handle increased dialogue and interaction with shareholders?
The board world has changed. Shareholders have greater power to influence board composition and executive pay based on the provisions of Dodd-Frank for proxy access, say on pay, limits on broker discretionary voting.
By remaining silent, boards increase the power of proxy advisors as the only independent guidance to shareholders on how to vote. Boards increasingly need to engage with key shareholders, initiating communication and dialogue.
Get started now.