Agenda – ‘Fertile Soil’ for Activism Drives Rise in Proxy Fights

The deadline for dissidents to throw director candidates in the ring is looming for companies with spring annual meetings. Investors are intending to nominate opposing board candidates and have launched a flurry of proxy battles as companies work to resolve demands behind the scenes.

Indeed, between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22 this year, activists announced 27 contests, up from 21 announced during the same time period last year, according to data from Insightia.“The universal proxy rule is a major factor, but the macroeconomic climate that has been so challenging with very significant inflation not yet reined in here or abroad creates fertile soil for shareholder activism,” said Tom O’Neil, managing director at Berkeley Research Group, board member at public and private companies and former global chief compliance officer of Cigna Corporation. O’Neil spoke generally and not about a specific company or situation.

Agenda – ‘Fertile Soil’ for Activism Drives Rise in Proxy Fights

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