The Manhattan Institute’s latest Proxy Monitor hit laptops this week, revealing the nature and source of the 2015 proxy resolutions. It seems the corporate “God-flies” at religious shareholder organizations such as As You Sow and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility account for 29 percent of all shareholder resolutions submitted to the nation’s top 250 publically traded companies. This percentage is second only to the corporate gadflies – identified by the report’s author, James R. Copland, as “individuals and their family members who repeatedly file common shareholder proposals at multiple companies” – and two percentage points ahead of labor-affiliated investors.
Copland reports the number of shareholder proposals aimed at requiring disclosure of companies’ political spending has decreased, and those proposals that were submitted in 2015 met the same fate as in previous years – defeated by wide majorities:
Whatever the reason for the drop in the number of shareholder proposals related to political spending, support for these proposals remains tepid. No such proposal has received majority shareholder support over board opposition in the ten years covered in the ProxyMonitor.org database.