Donnelley Financial Solutions (NYSE: DFIN), a leading risk and compliance company, has compiled its 2020 Guide to Effective Proxies. Now in its 8th edition, this comprehensive guide provides insights to help companies design proxy statements that communicate vital information about business objectives to investors, while also complying with SEC regulations.
DFIN’s annual guide showcases innovative and shareholder-friendly best practices gathered from managing the public filings of its extensive client base, including over one-third of U.S. public companies. DFIN also provides helpful tips for how companies should begin preparing for the 2021 proxy season.
Here are some notable trends:
- Interest in Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) issues on the part of a broad range of investors and other stakeholders continues to intensify
- Human Capital Management (HCM) is increasingly considered a driver of corporate value and success, especially in light of COVID-19
- Majority of companies are using clear language to discuss their business strategies and tie them to executive compensation
- Board diversity, skills, and qualifications continue to receive attention, including increased highlighting of ESG- and HCM-related experience and competencies
- Critical board functions and processes are becoming more transparent, including discussions of the outcomes from following these processes. These processes can include board risk oversight, director evaluation and recruitment, and shareholder engagement
“The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened both ESG and HCM issues. In response, proxies are including more information about vital topics from board diversity and effective oversight to well-designed and communicated executive compensation programs and employee health and safety,” said Ron Schneider, Director of Corporate Governance Services at DFIN. “Investors are interested in ESG-related risks and opportunities and in how sustainable and resilient companies are in the face of unpredictable events. Now, more than ever, credible communication on these issues is a must have, not a nice to have.”
DFIN will host its annual webcast highlighting the hot topics from the year’s proxy season and how to navigate the guide. Click here to register for this event on September 15, 2020.
“How companies present themselves in their proxies has become increasingly relevant as a reflection of the strategic priorities of both executives and boards of directors. Institutional investors and other key stakeholders are turning to proxies to gauge the risks and opportunities companies are currently facing, thereby pushing the proxy to evolve beyond a traditional compliance document,” said Craig Clay, President of Global Capital Markets at DFIN. “We are proud that our annual guide has become a trusted resource as companies enhance their investor communications. The proxy guide highlights companies with outstanding disclosures covering cutting-edge topics, including climate risk and human capital management. This guide, along with DFIN’s regulatory experts and software solution ActiveDisclosure, will help you streamline designing, drafting, and SEC filing.”
About Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
DFIN is a leading global risk and compliance solutions company. We provide domain expertise, enterprise software and data analytics for every stage of our clients’ business and investment lifecycles. Markets fluctuate, regulations evolve, technology advances, and through it all, DFIN delivers confidence with the right solutions in moments that matter. Learn about DFIN’s end-to-end risk and compliance solutions at DFINsolutions.com or follow us on Twitter at @DFINSolutions or on LinkedIn.
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