April 4, 2016 | By Dave Bobker | posted in Corporate Governance
When reviewing the voting policies of your institutional investors it is important to remember that these tend to be guidelines, rather than strict rules. A recent Rivel survey of North American proxy voters revealed that 65% of proxy voters work at firms with flexible voting policies, with 26% able to deviate from policy without any prior approval. Only 33% reported being bound by policy. This highlights the need to understand the application of voting policy, the perceptions and expectations of your governance and compensation strategies, and to clearly and consistently communicate your governance value proposition. Have you engaged with an investor and been successful in convincing them to deviate from voting policy? If so, do you know what the decision driver was and have you been able to incorporate this into ongoing engagement messaging?