August 31, 2011

BNY Mellon Shareowner Services 2011 Proxy Season Study Shows Predictions of Change Continue to Outpace Actual Results

Majority of management-supported say-on-pay proposals approved by shareholders

JERSEY CITY, N.J., August 31, 2011 — Findings in the just released 2011 BNY Mellon Shareowner Services Annual Meeting Study show that for the annual meeting season just ended, expectations for major changes continue to outpace actual shareholder voting results.

Based on an in-depth internal analysis of data from Shareowner Services relationship managers on more than 500 client meetings during the 2011 proxy season, the 2011 Annual Meeting Study includes findings on the type and number of proposals voted on; the impact of proxy rule changes requiring votes on executive compensation and the frequency of such votes, known as Say on Pay (SOP) and Say When on Pay (SWOP); and other governance matters.

Key study findings include:

  • The majority of SOP votes were approved by shareholders.
  • SOP and SWOP voting requirements did not have a dramatic impact on companies' anticipated voting results.
  • Annual voting frequency was the preference on SWOP votes.
  • Annual meetings occurred later in year, with most of our clients holding meetings in May.
  • Companies favored smaller and simpler annual meetings, with less extravagant venues and formats.
  • SOP and SWOP requirements increased the number of proposals on most 2011 ballots.

"With new SEC rules mandated by Dodd-Frank taking effect for the first time this year, there were predictions throughout the industry about potentially dramatic impacts of SOP and SWOP, increased shareholder activism, and the prospect of more contentious meetings," said Kevin Brennan, managing director and head of sales and marketing communication for BNY Mellon Shareowner Services.  "Our data reporting on client experience across more than 500 client meetings clearly shows that these concerns were largely groundless, with the majority of management-supported SOP proposals approved by shareholders."

A report summarizing the study's key findings can be found at

BNY Mellon Shareowner Services is a leading provider of equity solutions for nearly 1,000 corporate issuers and closed-end funds and administers employee stock plans.  BNY Mellon Shareowner Services offers a broad suite of products and services ranging from record keeping and corporate actions to demutualizations, dividend reinvestment administration, meeting services and employee plan administration.  More information about BNY Mellon Shareowner Services is available at  

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets.  BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team.  It has $26.3 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.3 trillion in assets under management, services $11.8 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.7 trillion per day.  BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK).  Additional information is available at and through Twitter @bnymellon.