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Do you submit Proxy Votes?
Old 03-22-2019, 11:38 PM   #1
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Do you submit Proxy Votes?

It is Annual Meeting/Proxy season. The time of year when there is an increase in the number of stock proxy statements to consider. Many times the choices are pretty limited. e.g. For/Against this board member, or do you approve of this specific accounting firm. But in general:
  • Do you read the proxy?
  • Do you vote your proxy?
  • If you vote do you just accept what the company recommends?
  • Do you concentrate on those small shareholder raised actions specific to that business/industry?
  • Like to have a vote on CEO and leadership pay (clawback)?
  • Like having a separate CEO and chairman?
Good corporate governance is very important, but for a small shareholder this must be a waste of time??
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triangle View Post
It is Annual Meeting/Proxy season. The time of year when there is an increase in the number of stock proxy statements to consider. Many times the choices are pretty limited. e.g. For/Against this board member, or do you approve of this specific accounting firm. But in general:
  • Do you read the proxy?
  • Do you vote your proxy?
  • If you vote do you just accept what the company recommends?
  • Do you concentrate on those small shareholder raised actions specific to that business/industry?
  • Like to have a vote on CEO and leadership pay (clawback)?
  • Like having a separate CEO and chairman?
Good corporate governance is very important, but for a small shareholder this must be a waste of time??
Yes
Yes
NO
No
No - Board of Directors Job
Yes
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:01 AM   #3
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Submitting the proxy vote also ensures that you are a shareholder of record. Making contact with shareholder services, whichever service the corporation uses once a year ensures that you will continue getting the dividend and it not be diverted in the belief you are a missing person. Realistically, this likely takes a few years to happen, but the easiest way is to vote the proxy.
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Running_Man View Post
Yes
Yes
NO
No
No Yes
Yes
My response is almost the same as RMís.

Companies and mutual funds with proxies spend money to contact shareholders and solicit their vote. Not voting the proxy costs us money
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Do you submit Proxy Votes?
Old 03-23-2019, 06:27 AM   #5
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Do you submit Proxy Votes?

I had a first-time occurrence (for me) relating to proxy voting just yesterday: an automated phone call from IBM reminding me to vote.

Iím hit-and-miss with respect to proxy voting but pay extra attention with certain stocks that I hold which have unusual news associated with operations. Recent examples would be Wells Fargo and Boeing.

[ADDED] No idea if the call was legit, although I do own some IBM shares. Since the number was not in my contacts it rolled over to voicemail and I listened to the message later.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Running_Man View Post
Yes
Yes
NO
No
No - Board of Directors Job
Yes
Ditto
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:21 AM   #7
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Yes - it's pretty much for mutual funds when they occasionally request one. DH has one stock and he always does the proxy votes.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:42 AM   #8
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My response is almost the same as RMís.

Companies and mutual funds with proxies spend money to contact shareholders and solicit their vote. Not voting the proxy costs us money
I'm with MichaelB.

Has anyone ever seen any of the results of these votes anything but overwhelming in favor toward what the Board recommended? I don't think I've ever seen it closer than 90/10. I have sometimes voted against the Board recommendations on fund issues, as opposed to Board members.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:55 AM   #9
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We only have a few individual stocks, mostly those of former employers and a couple that we bought for the shareholder benefits. DH likes to attend the annual meetings for a couple of companies, so he votes those. Otherwise I just read them and will vote if there's something interesting. If I would vote the same way the board recommends, then I don't bother.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:35 AM   #10
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I vote if they send me the materials or easy online access to the information. Those that require unique log ins, emails, phone calls, and fussing I ignore.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
Has anyone ever seen any of the results of these votes anything but overwhelming in favor toward what the Board recommended? I don't think I've ever seen it closer than 90/10. I have sometimes voted against the Board recommendations on fund issues, as opposed to Board members.
My answers are the same as RM's.

To scrabbler1's question, the proxy vote on whether Hewlett-Packard Company should acquire Compaq was highly contentious and the result of the vote was very close to 50/50.

I was working for HP at the time, and thus owned a fair number of shares (mostly via options, IIRC). Since I felt strongly about the issue, I voted all of my shares (in various locations - option account, taxable account, RSU account, etc.).

Since the proxy battle was intense, both sides sent multiple proxies - speculation was that confused shareholders might vote all proxies as recommended, and in the case of multiple conflicting votes for the same shares, the last vote chronologically was how the vote was tallied. But each side used the same color, so if you were pro-merger you voted the white proxies and if you were anti-merger you voted the green proxies (or maybe vice versa).

There was speculation at the time, which I personally agree with, that there was a quid pro quo between the then-CEO and a large German bank - if the bank voted it's shares pro-merger, then that same bank's investment banking arm might get more use by HP in the future. The bank voted pro-merger at the very end, which was enough to tip the balance.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Col. Klink View Post
Submitting the proxy vote also ensures that you are a shareholder of record. Making contact with shareholder services, whichever service the corporation uses once a year ensures that you will continue getting the dividend and it not be diverted in the belief you are a missing person. Realistically, this likely takes a few years to happen, but the easiest way is to vote the proxy.
To clarify - does this situation only apply to shares directly registered in your own name and not those shares owned via a broker, 401k plan etc?
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triangle View Post
It is Annual Meeting/Proxy season. The time of year when there is an increase in the number of stock proxy statements to consider. Many times the choices are pretty limited. e.g. For/Against this board member, or do you approve of this specific accounting firm. But in general:
  • Do you read the proxy?
  • Do you vote your proxy?
  • If you vote do you just accept what the company recommends?
  • Do you concentrate on those small shareholder raised actions specific to that business/industry?
  • Like to have a vote on CEO and leadership pay (clawback)?
  • Like having a separate CEO and chairman?
Good corporate governance is very important, but for a small shareholder this must be a waste of time??
Skim, yes... usually, never, no, yes, yes, probably.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
I vote if they send me the materials or easy online access to the information. Those that require unique log ins, emails, phone calls, and fussing I ignore.
I like the way that you think GrayHare!
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:56 AM   #15
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AFAIK, one's vote is weighted upon how many share you have. My piddly votes/shares doesn't change anything compared to some large private investor fund that may own millions of shares.

Still, I tend to vote but usually vote for the current board.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:04 AM   #16
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I vote.

If the stock has done well over the past year I vote to keep the directors. If not, I vote to throw the bums out. I vote no on all celebrity directors. Usually vote against the pay issues and for more shareholder "say" initiatives. Always vote to change the auditor because it is always a good idea to review what the prior company was doing.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:17 AM   #17
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To clarify - does this situation only apply to shares directly registered in your own name and not those shares owned via a broker, 401k plan etc?
Yes. Applies if shares are in your name such as when you make a share purchase directly from the company or a service such as Computershare. It happens infrequently, but in particular when someone does not cash dividend checks and does not vote the proxy. There was a recent reminder about this in a recent proxy mailing I got from Computershare.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:28 AM   #18
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As a reminder, proxy votes on executive pay are advisory and not binding. Shareholder approval is only needed to authorize additional shares of stock, and once approved, the BoD has great flexibility in its use. Stockholders have no authority over executive compensation.

Coca Cola had this problem with its 2014 Executive Equity Plan. The plan was to authorize 500 million new shares as incentive for management and executives. The shareholder vote approved by a large margin of votes cast but less than half of shares outstanding, as major institutional holders abstained but were public with their criticism, including Warren Buffet, the largest shareholder. Technically approved, the Board nonetheless redesigned the program to reduce scale.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
Has anyone ever seen any of the results of these votes anything but overwhelming in favor toward what the Board recommended? I don't think I've ever seen it closer than 90/10.
I've always seen it written in the fine print that when a proxy isn't returned, management votes those shares.

What's more opaque to me is the process by which an individual shareholder can raise a proposal to be voted on. I'm not talking about activist investors who buy billions of $$ worth of stock and demand board seats. I mean little people of ordinary means.

There was a famous gadfly who would buy 100 shares in many companies and manage to introduce proposals which made it on the lists for a lot shareholder votes. I never saw any approved by the overall vote, but that individual kept buzzing around for years. It made me wonder why there weren't more of those.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Col. Klink View Post
Yes. Applies if shares are in your name such as when you make a share purchase directly from the company or a service such as Computershare. It happens infrequently, but in particular when someone does not cash dividend checks and does not vote the proxy. There was a recent reminder about this in a recent proxy mailing I got from Computershare.
I believe that's for shares when compuserve is the transfer agent for the issue and you are buying directly. If the shares were owned as a pool(401k, other broker), like @Gauss is asking, compuserve has no idea who the registration is for.
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