Sidley recently issued a 5-year review of proxy access developments. In addition to tracking the adoption of proxy access bylaws, the review also addresses a variety of other topics, including management & shareholder proxy access proposals, typical proxy access provisions, and proxy advisor policies on proxy access.
While noting that proxy access bylaws have been adopted by 76% of the S&P 500 and a majority of the Russell 1000, the memo also notes that such bylaws have actually been used only once. Here’s an excerpt with the details:
In 2019, for the first and only time, a shareholder included a director nominee in the proxy materials of a U.S. company pursuant to a proxy access right. In December 2018, The Austin Trust dated January 1, 2006 (with Steven Colmar as trustee) with ownership of approximately 3.8% of the common stock of The Joint Corp. filed a Schedule 14N seeking to use proxy access to nominate a director at the company’s 2019 annual meeting.
The Joint Corp. had adopted proxy access in August 2018 on standard terms after a shareholder proposal to adopt proxy access submitted by Colmar was approved (with 96% support) at the company’s annual meeting in June 2018. (The board of directors had not made a recommendation for or against the proposal.)
Both the board of directors and ISS ultimately recommended that stockholders vote for the proxy access nominee, and he was elected at the company’s May 2019 annual meeting with more than 99% support.
-John Jenkins, TheCorporateCounsel.net February 11, 2020
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