Shareholder pressure in the US over environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is likely to continue, despite the uncertainty that surrounds the future of governance following the election of Donald Trump.
The view comes in a report looking at the forthcoming proxy season in the US. It claims that even if some rules are overturned by the new administration, shareholders will continue to make the same demands.
The report, produced in partnership by financial solutions provider Broadridge and professional services firm PwC, said: “The SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] is undergoing major changes with a new chair to be confirmed, two new commissioners to be added, and new appointments to a number of leadership roles in the divisions.
“Corporate governance rules that were proposed (but not finalized) prior to the presidential election, including pay versus performance and clawback requirements, are unlikely to have the same support.
“Some rules enacted under Dodd-Frank, such as say-on-pay votes, will likely continue. Other rules, such as those requiring CEO pay ratio disclosure, are expected to be reviewed.
“But even if some disclosure rules are repealed, the practices are not likely to just stop. Even if regulations change, shareholders are likely to continue to encourage companies to provide substantive disclosure on issues such as company efforts to promote positive social and environmental changes.”