For advisers, part of the challenge of evaluating shareholder proposals, especially those relating to corporate governance, is that you’re weighing a number of factors. You have an obligation to represent your client and their values with your vote, but as a manager of their money, you also have to determine whether there’s good value in the proposal from a business perspective.
Thankfully there are groups like Proxy Review and Proxy Monitor who monitor and provide analysis of these proposals. Referencing their work can give you the information and perspective you need to guide your decisions.
For clients who are interested in exercising their rights as shareholders and becoming more involved in the companies they have a stake in, your knowledge and ability to vote according to their wishes adds value to your practice. And as the number of shareholder proposals increases in the future and clients continue to show more interest in this kind of action, it’s a process that advisers should try their best to get on top of.