Engagement and Proxy Voting
When considering proxy votes, we acknowledge the information asymmetry between shareholders and insiders, and begin with the assumption that management and the board are carrying out their duties faithfully. That does not mean however, that we are shy about voicing our concerns through engagement and voting. We find ourselves opposing many proposals that are either unclear in their alignment with shareholder interests or at odds with our judgment of the best course for the company. This is reflected in both the 89% of management proposals that we supported in the last year and the 11% we opposed.1 Some of the main areas of opposition involved management compensation and share issuance.
In 2018, we significantly increased our support for shareholder resolutions, of which we voted for a majority (52%) for the first time. Our support reflects increasingly narrow and carefully-worded proposals that make reasonable requests on issues material to shareholders. In the past, more resolutions tended to represent special interests or social activism. We think the improved quality of shareholder resolutions is being shaped by the SEC submission process and by greater collaboration with investors.
1Data for the calendar year 2018.
Source: Neuberger Berman. Data for the calendar year 2018.
We are signatories and active supporters of stewardship codes across multiple geographies: