Proxy Outlook '08

Posted by: Jena McGregor on January 1, 2008

Well, it’s a new year…and that means it’s closing in on time for another proxy season. Proxy advisers ISS write on the RiskMetrics blog that it’s shaping up to be a particularly contentious year. Many of the same issues are likely to come up again this year—executive pay, separation of the chairman and CEOs, and majority voting for directors.

But a few novel resolutions are planned for this year. One includes calling for between six to 12 companies, ISS says, including Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, and Verizon, to disclose succession planning policies. Others are being targeted at homebuilders, which will be asked to set up a “mortgage lending compliance committee” in response to the mortgage and housing crisis that seems destined to continue into 2008. And following the SEC’s decision to bar proxy access resolutions, the issue is sure to come up. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is already planning to submit proposals that call for the reimbursement of proxy-fight solicitation expenses.

 

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