Outlook and Challenges

Governance Challenges 2018: Board-Shareholder Engagement in the New Investor Environment

By NACD Staff


Governance Challenges Shareholder Engagement Investor Relations

In brief: Mainstream asset managers—including major index funds such as Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street—are speaking out more forcefully on issues like board diversity, company culture, and climate change. Public pension funds such as the Office of the New York City Comptroller have been making their influence felt in areas such as proxy access. And activist investors continue to press for changes to their target companies’ strategies—often by seeking seats on the board. 

This 2018 edition of Governance Challenges was produced in collaboration with NACD’s five strategic-content partners—Heidrick & Struggles, the KPMG Board Leadership Center, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Pearl Meyer, and Sidley Austin LLP—and helps directors chart an effective course through this dynamic environment toward the objective they and their investors share: sustainable corporate success and long-term value creation.

Boards can use this resource to:

  • hone the traits that distinguish the boards of highly successful companies, which could serve directors well when approached by shareholder activists;

  • ask key questions as they prepare for interactions with shareholders;

  • consider how to communicate the enterprise’s human capital management and reporting functions to investors;

  • engage with stakeholders on the topic of executive pay in a business climate that values transparency and accountability; and

  • understand practical and legal considerations when meeting with shareholders.

Most relevant audiences: Board chairs/lead directors, committee chairs, CEOs, general counsels, investor relations team

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