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2023 European Proxy Season Review (Ireland edition)

2023 European Proxy Season Review (Ireland edition)

25 September 2023

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Morrow Sodali 2023 European Proxy Season Review
France | Germany | Greece | Ireland | Italy | PortugalSpainSwitzerland | United Kingdom

Morrow Sodali is pleased to share its review of the 2023 Proxy Season in Ireland. This comprehensive review highlights several key trends in corporate governance and shareholder engagement.

The season marked a return to physical meetings after pandemic-related disruptions, accompanied by limited hybrid options, with vote participation fluctuating due to controlling shareholders and lingering COVID restrictions. The season underscored persistent concerns surrounding executive pay and board composition, with instances of dissent exceeding 10%. Interestingly, climate-related resolutions were notably absent, as the focus remained on traditional governance matters.

The publication also delves into the debate around virtual-only Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and their impact on investor engagement. While many companies adopted virtual-only AGMs during the pandemic, some investors expressed concerns about the lack of proper engagement with the board. Regulators in various countries considered the possibility of making all AGMs virtual, but there has been a pushback from investors who believe that shareholder rights and access to directors should be preserved. The article suggests that hybrid AGMs, which combine virtual and in-person elements, could represent a compromise solution that is more widely accepted by stakeholders.

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