Minerva 2023 Proxy Review finds high uncertainty 

November 15th, 2023

The Minerva 2023 Proxy Review will be published later this month highlighting the impact of the uncertain geopolitical climate has had on investor voting this year.

The review offers a summary of proxy voting activity across three regions: Europe, the US, and the UK, and an overview of the regulatory environment of each jurisdiction.

This year’s voting season has been impacted by high levels of uncertainty due to a range of issues, including the lasting effects of COVID-19, climate change, the ongoing war in Ukraine and high inflation.

Such uncertainty has led investors to focus more on governance in ESG as companies seek to protect their bottom line in a volatile market.

The review also found that the number of shareholder proposals increased overall in 2023, although support for them has decreased for a second consecutive year.

Waning support is due to some asset managers clarifying or updating their approach to voting on proposals they consider go beyond disclosure and encroach upon companies’ strategies and operations.

The decline in support could also be linked to the political backlash some large asset managers face for supporting ESG initiatives, particularly in the US where there has been significant anti-ESG sentiment.

The review found remuneration-related votes were the most rejected board-proposed resolution in Europe and the US, while capital-related issues were most rejected in the UK.

It also found the number of ‘say on climate’ votes fell in 2023, partly due to companies opting to hold a vote every three years rather than annually, as well as loss of momentum for the ‘say on climate’ initiative and mixed support from investors for its adoption.

Last Updated: 16 November 2023