This past year we have fielded a number of requests for help extracting Proxy voting results. The results of director elections are pretty easy to access with the TableExtraction and Normalization routines built into the Search, Extraction & Normalization Engine. The other votes are more difficult because the votes are not usually labeled in the table, rather they are described in the preceding paragraph.
In the image above the votes relating to compensation and the approval of the auditor are described in a paragraph independent of the table itself. Our clients who have attended our Python Bootcamps would be able to use some of the tricks we have shown them to identify the table of votes but the logic to extend the Normalization component of the Engine is tricky to implement in the Engine and we have not yet sorted out the complications.
Thus we have been working on adding these votes to our Preprocessed Data Feed. Initially we will add the Director vote results but soon after we will also add the Advisory Vote on Compensation, the Approval of the Auditor and the results from the vote on the Frequency of an Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation. Once those are addressed we will add the votes on shareholder proposals. With the director votes we are adding their CIK as well as their Gender. Here is an example of the output you can expect with the Director Vote results. These results came from an 8-K filing made by Abbott Laboratories on 5/4/2016 that reported on the actions taken during their annual meeting on 4/29/2016 (these data points are included in the results we push to our clients). The PERSON-CIK value is the CIK assigned to that individual by the SEC if they have ownership or other reporting requirements.
One of the advantages of including the director CIK as an identifier is it simplifies tracking directors (and officers) across entities. While I was playing with the results I decided to see how many directors in one of our test files had multiple directorships. This is not so easy to determine if we had to sort by name. For example, Mr. Maffei (who held directorships in six entities in our test sample) is reported as Greg Maffei and Gregory B. Maffei. When we can sort by PERSON-CIK identifying multiple directorships is more straightforward.
Our plan is to build the archive but also add this to our daily processing. We fully expect that by the time the 2017 Proxy Season begins in earnest we will be able to push the vote results to our distribution server within minutes of the filing of the 8-K that reports the voting results.
The initial batch of the results of director elections will be available within the next two weeks. While I will announce it here you will be able to tell what data is available by creating a request file per the instructions and look at the list of available Governance Data Tables. The Director Voting results will be listed in that schedule of available Data Tables