France: 2022 Proxy Season Review, Say on Climate, Gender Diversity, REM and ESG in the Boardroom

Morrow Sodali is pleased to present a video featuring Stanislas de Laporte, Director of Morrow Sodali, outlining the key findings from the 2022 proxy season in France as detailed in the recent Lighthouse Europe edition.

Findings include:

  • AGMs held behind closed doors were no longer allowed. Therefore, all the French AGMs were held physically, and all the CAC 40 issuers proposed a live (and recorded) webcast. 
  • At the end of the 2022 AGM season, an average of 56% of CAC 40 boards were independent. For companies with more than 50% of voting rights held by controlling shareholder(s), the average level of independence decreases to 39%.
  • Independent chairs were supported by 99% of the shareholders for reelection, while combined chairs and CEOs received only 90% support. This difference is even more remarkable when only considering the free float (66% vs. 98%).
  • Average CEO Remuneration Policy (ex-ante) approval fell to 86.1%, representing its lowest level since 2018, probably due to a large increase in the remuneration level (fixed and variable). On the other hand, the average approval of CEOs’ Say on Pay (remuneration ex-post) increased to 90.5% and reached its highest level for the French companies of the CAC 40.

Find out more insights regarding the key trends and common themes emerging from shareholder meetings across the markets in Europe (France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK) by downloading the full edition of Lighthouse Europe. This edition also includes an in-depth analysis of Say on Climate, gender diversity and E&S in the boardroom, as well as investor insights Q&A with BNP Paribas Asset Management, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), and UBS.