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02 Dec 2021


AGMs 2021: Overview of shareholders’ voting trends and investors' expectations in European and Russian markets

The global pandemic made companies rethink their transformation strategies and required boards around the world to respond to a new and increasingly complex set of expectations from their shareholders and stakeholders.

On December 2, Oleg Shvyrkov, Morrow Sodali's Director of Russia and CIS, and Special Advisor of our subsidiary Nestor Advisors, presented the key findings from our 2021 European AGM Season Review which will feature in the soon to be published EMEA edition of Morrow Sodali's Lighthouse at an online event hosted by the NCSA - National Corporate Secretaries Association of Russia.

This event is regularly held by the NCSA, and is part of the Corporate Secretaries Club, a forum designed to bring together the leading Corporate Secretaries in Russia and provide a platform to benchmark, network and share ideas on the latest trends and developments in corporate legislation.

Last week, the Club’s discussion revolved around the voting results and trends of the shareholders at the last AGM season and the investors’ expectations. Oleg Shvyrkov presented a detailed analysis of the main areas of focus identified for investors in several European countries in determining their voting and investment strategy, and the latest trends in company engagement.

Morrow Sodali’s analysis shows that participation in general meetings is very high for both majority and minority shareholders, but sometimes ambiguous situations arise with regard to the remuneration policies, the investors’ support for board candidates and board accountability.

The survey illustrates the importance of fair and transparent remuneration systems, which is reflected in the shareholders’ level of support for remuneration policies. The role of proxy advisors is extremely important, but their influence on the voting results for directors varies. The less visible part of the AGM agenda concerns the related party transactions, share capital increase and ESG issues.

The discussion continued, moderated by Alexander Shevchuk, Executive Director of the Association of Institutional Investors (IPA), who walked the audience through the prism of Russian practice, and provided a detailed picture of the expectations from the last AGM season by the investment community in the Russian market.

More information on the event is available here (in Russian).

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