I was testing some of our preliminary results of the extraction and normalization of the results of Director Votes. I struggled for a bit about how to present this. Initially I was going to identify some voting results that were strongly negative with the names of the directors and the companies but I thought about it a bit. I guess if John Smith is having some professional issue that is causing him to receive a high percentage of negative votes I don’t think I want his curious kids Googling his name and find our website recounting the struggles of their dad. Thus the analysis below does leave out the names of the individual directors. However, when you do download the actual director vote data we include their name as reported in the filing, their name as it is reported in their personal ownership filings and their personal CIK as illustrated in the image below:
(While names are included above – they are embedded in an image so I feel like we are not imposing on anyone’s privacy).
So the above image illustrates many of the details of our vote data lets at least superficially dive into some interesting sorts on the votes. I should note that this was an initial sample of good results from 2,959 companies in the Russell 3000 who reported voting results in an 8-K from 1/1/2015 to 12/31/2015.
Most negative votes. I decided to sort the vote results by the proportion that were negative (sum of AGAINST, WITHHELD and ABSTAIN) (AWA) divided by (sum of AGAINST, WITHHELD and ABSTAIN plus FOR). I was sort of amused by this initial sort as their were two candidates for election to the board of General Motors who received a minuscule number of affirmative votes and more than 1.2 billion votes against. Here are the results
Neither of the gentlemen listed were listed in GM’s Proxy. It took a bit of research to sort out that these folks offer themselves as candidates at GM’s Annual Meeting each year. My guess from looking at the votes and the BROKER_NON_VOTES (BNV) is that these gentlemen only vote for themselves as the difference in the BNV is the difference in their votes for.
Putting that anomaly aside there were 396 companies that had one or more directors whose proportion of AWA votes was 20% or more. 182 companies had more than one director with a negative vote total grater than 20%. News Corp led the pack as each of the 12 directors put forth by the company received a negative vote of 20% or more. Here is a list of companies that had 5 or more directors up for election that received a 20% or greater negative vote.
Because we can sort on Gender I discovered that 90/851 recipients of 20% or greater AWA votes were women. This approximates their representation in the overall collection of directors (18,193 total directors for the 2,959 companies and of the total 2,576 were women candidates).