Shareholder services company Georgeson Shareholder has found, in its 2005 annual corporate governance review, that the total number of shareholder proposals has decreased along with the number of contested solicitations.
In previous years, activists have concentrated on how boards of directors use poison pills and stock options. But this year, activists have focused on changing the way directors themselves are elected. Shareholders of 79 companies proposed a rule that directors could win or maintain their board seats only by a majority vote, and 55 companies then placed the majority-voting proposal on their proxy ballots. The majority voting resolution has bee a great success in 2005, with 43% of votes, at 13 shareholder meetings, cast in favor of it.