The Year in Review, Part II: ESG & More

Ask a public company to sum up 2019 in three letters, and there’s a good chance the response would be “E-S-G.” Environmental, social, and governance issues have been making a steady march to the very forefront of concerns occupying public companies. That trend continued in a big way in 2019, as the #MeToo movement, climate change, and income inequality dominated public discourse and put fresh energy behind all manner of ESG-related shareholder proposals. We ended the year by publishing a report, our 2020 Playbook on ESG Shareholder Proposals, that examined recent ESG proposals that won significant support.

Other storylines that recurred on the blog this year included unicorn companies, the use of multi-class shares, so-called “shadow regulators” and disclosure effectiveness. Before the blog takes a two-week hiatus, let’s review the major developments we covered in each area in 2019.

ESG and shareholder activism:

Multi-class shares:

The influence of “shadow regulators”: institutional investors and proxy advisory firms:

Disclosure effectiveness:

Unicorn IPOs:

We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings on these and other topics. Until then, happy holidays to all.

The Intelligize blog will resume publishing on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020.

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