In a period of unique market and economic dynamics, Neuberger Berman continued our tradition of vocal engagement to encourage best practices from companies.

Amid expectations for continued tight monetary policy and slowing economic growth, 2023 saw both initial caution in the markets and temporary concerns in the financial sector after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and other regional banks. However, more resilient economies helped major equity indices achieve substantial gains, starting with a narrow group of large growth stocks before expanding late in the year to other areas amid optimism as to the potential end of monetary tightening. Still, the transition to a “more normal” economic and market environment seemed likely to expose fundamental differences among companies. Therefore, the need for transparency, good governance and attention to financially material issues, including those related to environmental and social practices, has never been greater. In 2023, our investment teams made their voices heard once again through our NB Votes initiative.

NB Votes is our advance vote disclosure initiative where we disclose votes and rationales on various topics in advance of shareholder meetings. In 2023, we disclosed our voting intentions and rationales for proposals at 43 meetings and opposed the company’s recommendation in 58% of them. Our initiative also spans the regions where we invest our clients’ capital, with 21% of our votes at meetings of non-U.S. companies. Among these votes was a shareholder proposal regarding recapitalization that we submitted to Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, a tool not frequently used by institutional investors.

This paper presents highlights from our 2023 voting season, looking in particular at published votes where we staked new ground or believe the issue is of particular relevance to our clients. This report should be viewed as part of a cumulative effort to enhance corporate practices, and we would urge you to examine not only the full ledger of published 2023 votes, but our record from past years as well.