Friday, May 1, 2009

Ethical proposal at Barrick AGM gets strong support, says Walker

Ethical Fund’s Bob Walker posted an interesting comment on our story about Barrick’s annual general meeting earlier this week, which we feel is worth sharing.

The headline read “Ethical gets some shareholder support at Barrick AGM” and the story noted that a shareholder proposed by Ethical asking that Barrick hire an independent party to assess performance against the Company’s current community engagement and sustainable development guidelines received the support of nearly 20% of shareholders.

“This result is actually quite strong,” said Walker, Ethical's vice president, sustainability, in his comment. “Most large blocks of shares are held by investors who are not as familiar with the issue of social licence to operate as they might be with climate risk or executive compensation issues - issues and proposals that have had time to mature.”

The substance of the Barrick proposal is relatively new to investors, he added, noting that it takes time to educate investors on new risks and concerns.

“A proposal must get at least 3% of the vote in its first year; 6% in its second year; and 10% in its third year to remain eligible for inclusion in the management proxy circular. In this light, the result for our proposal at Barrick is very good. Also note that, historically, companies have tended to take steps to address shareholder concerns when proposals reach about 10% investor support.”

Noted, Bob, and thanks for the feedback.

No comments:

Post a Comment