‘Say on Climate’ resolutions, by contrast, saw more than double the shareholder opposition when compared against global levels.
Remuneration at Australia’s largest 300 listed companies (ASX300) received increased shareholder support, with 22% fewer companies receiving 'strikes’ (more than 25% of votes against), according to Georgeson’s AGM Intelligence Report.
The report has revealed that in 2022, across ASX300 companies, 21 received a strike compared to 27 in 2021, with a further 11 companies narrowly avoiding a strike.
In contrast, shareholder opposition to ‘Say on Climate’ resolutions at ASX300 companies experienced, on average, nearly 25% shareholder opposition: more than double the average global opposition of 9.6%.
The report also found that only eight ASX300 companies included climate plan-related resolutions, all of which passed, with support ranging between 51% to 94.5%. Shareholders put forth six proposals, all being withdrawn either in favour of company resolutions or the enabling constitutional amendment resolution failed.
Andrew Thain, Country Head and Managing Director of Australia at Georgeson, said: “The increased remuneration support indicates companies continue to engage in robust stakeholder discussions throughout the year, helping their investors better understand the metrics and reasoning behind their compensation plans.”
“On the other hand, the continued high levels of opposition to Say on Climate resolutions suggests investors are seeking more meaningful ESG-related disclosures, particularly around climate change.
“Shareholders continue to use their votes to express their dissatisfaction and expect companies to step up their ESG practices and reporting.”
Georgeson says that, during 2022, female directors accounted for 35.7% of ASX200 director positions: up from 34.9% the previous year. Nearly 45% of new director appointments to ASX200 boards were women.
However, women still only account for 10% of all ASX200 and ASX300 chair positions, with four ASX200 companies still with zero female directors.
The annual intelligence report also covers the following trends:
- Investor and proxy advisors’ emphasis on the importance of cybersecurity.
- Shareholder activism continues to lift with a spike in the number of proxy fights.
- A global perspective on AGMs from key markets: the UK, Europe, the US and Hong Kong.
The report is available at Georgeson AGM Intelligence Report.