Over the course of my career in corporate governance, I’ve learned about the importance of trust between a company and its stakeholders. When a company provides relevant, clear information on topics of importance to its stakeholders, it reflects an open culture and can drive continuous improvement in support of the company’s long-term success.
For these and other reasons, we are dedicated to transparency at BNY Mellon. We engage in ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders, and we listen to them.
“In my role, I focus largely on engagement with our investors, and there have been some significant changes at BNY Mellon over the last few years. We have taken affirmative steps to enhance our governance mechanisms. In many circumstances, we aim to be leaders in this arena.”Craig T. Beazer, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
One way that we are getting there is by engaging in regular two-way dialogues with stockholders and stockholder proponents. This practice of regular engagement is driving us forward and has provided us with relevant feedback which we have incorporated into actions that we have taken.
We were one of the first in our industry to adopt proxy access, giving major stockholders the ability to nominate Board members. We did so not in response to a stockholder proposal but based on engagement discussions with our stockholders as well as Board dialogue. Amending our bylaws for proxy access is a tangible example of our being proactive, rather than reactive, and building trust.
Board diversity is another topic that is important to stockholders. Stockholders have asserted that if a Board reflects our diverse society, a company may be more successful. We cite diversity, in all aspects of that term, as one of the key considerations in connection with Director candidates. In 2016 we added three women to our Board, and we are committed to further enhancing our Board diversity. It is good for our company, and it is good for our world.
Changes like these have garnered positive feedback on our corporate governance practices from stockholders, our Board, and the proxy and governance communities. We will continue to engage with and listen to our stakeholders. We have ongoing dialogue with stockholders on a variety of current governance topics, and as we have done on other topics, we will work with them to find solutions.
Our stockholders are helping us to evolve as the world evolves around us. In the process, we are building trust, promoting the long-term sustainability of our company and helping to drive positive change for our world.
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