Restoring shareholders’ rights to vote on executive remuneration, 2012

Chartered Secretaries Australia

CASE
STUDY

In 2011, the Federal Government barred executives from voting on approving their own pay at annual general meetings (AGMs). Due to a technicality, the chairman was also prohibited from voting on executive pay, resulting in retail shareholders losing their proxy votes directed to the chairman on executive pay.

Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA) wanted to restore shareholders’ rights by ensuring their proxy votes were not discarded due to this technicality.

CallidusPR, in partnership with CSA, developed a comprehensive research and consultative program with JP Morgan, Computershare and CSA’s policy committee which revealed the significance of the issue, discovering over 66 per cent of retail shareholders had lost their proxy votes on executive pay at AGMs in 2011.

CallidusPR and CSA’s campaign was two-pronged: (a) convince the Government that the technicality had significant negative consequences on shareholder rights and (b) compel the Government to separate the correcting amendment from the contentious Consumer Credit Amendment Bill 2011 and urgently introduce the amendment as a standalone bill by Parliament’s 2012 Winter sitting.

RESULT

The Government separated and fast-tracked the amending legislation, and on 19 June 2012, Federal Parliament passed the Corporations Amendment (Proxy Voting) Act 2012. Therefore CSA’s goal of restoring shareholder voting rights on executive pay was fully achieved.

AWARDS

Highly Commended 2012 National Golden Target Awards in Public Affairs
Winner 2012 PRIA NSW State Award for Excellence in Public Affairs

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