Proponents have filed 529 shareholder resolutions on environmental, social and related sustainable governance issues for the 2022 proxy season, up more than 20 percent from last year at this time. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff have allowed the omission of only 11 proposals so far in response to company challenges, but 103 challenges remain to be decided (up from 74 in late February 2021). Proponents have already withdrawn 106 resolutions, and 412 were slated for votes as of late February, although this number will drop.
Even though total filings are up dramatically, how many will go to votes remains uncertain for two key reasons. Last year’s unprecedented number of high votes, including 39 majorities, could prompt more agreements and thus withdrawals. Further, because the SEC in November rescinded interpretative guidance that boosted omissions during the Trump era, fewer proposals may be omitted.
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