Exactly like our Shareholder Confidence 365 Study, PwC’s Annual Corporate Directors Survey delivers very straight-forward insights without bias or interpretation. It’s a must read for everyone involved with corporate governance and shareholder communications.
Titled The swinging pendulum: Board governance in the age of shareholder empowerment, the study is a statistical analysis of 884 public company directors, 71% who serve on the boards of companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. PwC even noted that the participants — 83% male vs 17% female — alighted with the gender board diversity. Per PwC, the goal was “to gauge director sentiment on board governance in this new age of shareholder empowerment.”
Selfishly, the area of “Vintage” interest is regarding proxy disclosures and producing better (more transparent) materials.
Making proxy disclosures more meaningful via Pwc:
Investors have pushed companies to enhance their proxy disclosures to include more detail and be more meaningful. Many boards have taken action to do so—or are discussing it; 62% of directors say their boards took action over the past 12 months to enhance disclosures about the company’s executive compensation plan. About one third say their boards have taken action to enhance the company’s proxy disclosures related to risk oversight, corporate strategy, and the audit committee’s responsibilities. ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues are getting the least consideration for enhanced disclosure; 41% of directors say their board has not focused on these areas.
The directors were most certainly talking about the strategy and the content of the disclosure… not about the practical and tactical delivery of the materials. That discussion and “to-do” task falls firmly into the hands of the Corporate Secretary now in deeper collaboration with HR, Finance, Investor Relations and, yes… even the marketing group within Corp. Comm.
It is essential that proxy statements present information in a way that is compatible across all media – print, static PDF and dynamically across PCs, smart pads and phones. Technology is helping the once painfully inaccessible proxy document (black ink printed on the thinnest paper possible) into a transparent, digital version that now can easily embrace multimedia formats, such as concise infographics, video and forms to contact a lead director.
Per last week’s article, the proxy is surpassing the “glossy” annual report as the shareholder communications tool to efficiently tell the corporate investor theses and help current shareholder continue their support of the company.
To learn details about our annual report and proxy production and solution, click here and select “Annual report services.”