ARTICLES

Grand Rapids companies prepare for a challenging annual meeting season

May 27, 2011

Shareholder meetings promise to be especially challenging for public companies in Grand Rapids this year. "Say on Pay" is finally taking hold and, as of May 17, nearly two dozen companies have failed to pass shareholder resolutions on pay. Compensation decisions will need to be handled delicately as boards will continue to face scrutiny from shareholders, and will have to balance company needs with the various regulations set in place. The Dodd-Frank Act is also impacting bank lending, prompting shareholders to question a company's ability to access capital, fundraise and ultimately expand. One novel benefit of Dodd-Frank, however, is the "proxy access" rule that will allow large investors to place their own board candidates on company ballots.

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