As the number of retail investors is growing at record-breaking levels, growing numbers of issuers are needing retail shareholder votes to secure positive proxy outcomes. Historically, retail shareholders have not been active drivers behind the vote but as the percentage of shares they own grows, it could make the difference in management winning support for proposals or reaching a quorum. To effectively reach these shareholders, it is important for a company to have a retail investor engagement strategy that spans the entire year, not just around the time of the proxy vote.
Retail investors are also playing a key role in the ESG conversation, as well as becoming a pawn in the activist game. A company should own its narrative and proactively share it with the retail community.
There are some simple ways companies can enhance the voting experience for retail investors, including making the voting materials more retail-friendly, embracing social media and engaging year-round.