Our 2014 Update to the Canadian Proxy Contest Study sheds additional light on some of the issues and trends that we previously identified and raises a few new issues for further thought. Among the highlights of Canadian market experience in proxy contests over 2013:
- 2013 witnessed a 41% decrease in the number of proxy contests from 2012; however, the mining sector remained active.
- Fewer contests or not, management had little opportunity to rest easy in 2013: dissidents had their best year since 2009, succeeding in two-thirds of Board-Related Contests.
- Institutional shareholders weren't the only ones able to throw their weight around in the boardroom: retail shareholders achieved striking success in 2013.
- Seeking a clean sweep of the boardroom became an almost universally adopted tactic in 2013 – and the tactic appeared to pay off for dissidents.
- The rate of settlements almost doubled in 2013. And parties settled much earlier in the process.