From Holly Gregory’s Sidley Corporate Governance Report:
Through the collective efforts of large institutional investors, including public and private pension funds, and other shareholder proponents, shareholders are increasingly gaining the power to nominate a portion of the board without undertaking the expense of a proxy solicitation.
By obtaining proxy access (the ability to include shareholder nominees in the company’s own proxy materials), shareholders will have yet another tool to influence board decisions. Approximately 40% of companies in the S&P 500 have now adopted proxy access. We expect that proxy access will become a majority practice among S&P 500 companies within the next year.