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Matt Levine’s Money Stuff: Don’t Read the Proxy Statement

Sept. 21, 2022, 6:01 PM

Shareholder voting

We have talked a few times recently about a stylized fact of US public companies, which is that retail shareholders don’t vote. When a company has its annual meeting and sends out proxy statements and asks its shareholders to vote on questions like “should our board of directors be re-elected” and “do you approve of management’s compensation plan” and “do you approve of our audit firm” and “should we write a report about our greenhouse gas emissions,” its ordinary individual shareholders throw those proxy statements in the garbage and do not vote on those questions.

One reason that retail ...