The Investment Association (IA) has today written to 32 companies in the FTSE All-Share who have appeared on the Public Register for the last 2 years. The letter expresses concern that these companies are on the Public Register for the exact same resolution in 2017 and 2018, suggesting that they did not respond sufficiently to investor views and in doing so are risking more shareholder dissent in the future.
The Public Register tracks significant shareholder dissent (of more than 20%) at AGMs or GMs and seeks for companies to respond to that dissent. The IA today also launched a new repeat offenders list as part of the Public Register, highlighting in one place those companies who experience year-on-year revolts for the exact same resolution.
The Public Register has revealed that an increasing number of companies are facing shareholder opposition, with rebellions up by just under a quarter in 2018. 287 individual resolutions have been added to the Public Register so far in 2018, a jump of 22% from 2017.
Andrew Ninian, Director of Stewardship and Corporate Governance at the Investment Association, said:
“Appearing on the Public Register should act as a warning to companies that their shareholders are concerned about an aspect of the company’s governance. While many companies are taking the necessary action and engaging with their shareholders, a frustrating number are failing to address investor concerns. We expect these companies to provide an update statement to their shareholders on the engagement they had since the AGM vote, the views heard from shareholders and the follow-on actions taken.
“We hope that the increased focus on these repeat offenders will encourage them to engage with their shareholders and ensure their concerns are being addressed. The risk if they do not is greater investor concern in the future.”