Shareholders are increasingly voting against proposals from the board of Dutch listed companies or indicating that they will do so. As a result of this, companies are already removing proposals prior to shareholders’ meetings (AGM) from the agenda. That concludes the interest group of institutional investors Eumedion after an evaluation of the meetings last spring.
Shareholders are most likely to oppose proposals to change the remuneration policy and proposals to give directors “carte blanche” to issue many new shares. Eumedion had 14 voted-down agenda items this year. There were 5 and 8 in 2018 and 2017 respectively. The number of proposals that were passed, but with the necessary votes against, was lower.
Eumedion notes that companies that inform their shareholders prior to AGMs about the policy to be implemented during the annual meetings experience less resistance. In terms of remuneration policy, this will increasingly be necessary. Under new rules, proposals on rewards must have the support of 75 percent of the share capital present.
In addition, Eumedion notes that listed companies are putting more and more effort into appointing women to the management board and the supervisory board. Since October last year, almost 50 percent of the nominated directors and supervisory directors are women. Due to the relatively long terms of office of managers, there is hardly any “fresh growth”, which means that the total number of top female positions at the larger listed companies in Amsterdam is only slightly increasing.