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HPC in the media: the myth of shareholder stewardship

Our analysis of shareholder voting patterns makes the case against a corporate governance system policed by dis-engaged investors

Our report 'The Myth of Shareholder Stewardship' published this week was covered extensively in the media.

The report analysed voting patterns at shareholder AGMs over the past 5 years, finding very little evidence of investor stewardship. For example, the average pay-related resolution was waved through with 91% approval.

Across more than 700 pay-related resolutions voted on at AGMs over the period, the average level of shareholder dissent was just 8.8%. Only 11% of pay-related resolutions attracted ‘significant’ dissent levels of over 20%. Every single FTSE 100 company pay policy put to AGMs was approved by shareholders.

Given the strength of feeling over executive pay, this suggests that the shareholder-policed corporate governance system is not delivering good outcomes for society. Recent opinion polls have repeatedly shown that more people agree that the interests of big business run contrary to those of society than disagree. There is also consistent support for capping CEO pay and for prioritising reducing inequality over economic growth.

Selected highlights from the media coverage included a discussion with HPC Director Luke Hildyard on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, plus news articles in the Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and on the BBC News website.

There was also an excellent comment piece by James Moore in the Independent.

Posted on 9 May 2019

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