Outlook 2019: Sherry Moreland, Mediant
Sherry Moreland is president and COO at Mediant.
How should 2019 be known?
It should be known as “The year of the Shareholder.” With changing investor demographics and technology advancements, the standard approach to shareholder engagement will no longer suffice. Companies have the opportunity and ability to engage and empower their investors through new communication channels and platforms. The consistent flow of communication will help keep shareholders informed and encourage their voices to be heard. This two-way dialogue will help boards and shareholders best align on decisions and overall visions for the future.
What was the most important lesson of 2018?
This year has seen a lot of discussions around overhauling the US proxy system. In November, I joined fellow industry stakeholders in Washington, D.C. for a proxy roundtable hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of the panels included a discussion on the effectiveness and efficiency of the current proxy system and if an overhaul was needed. We came away from the discussion recognizing that many of the issues can be addressed through measured reform, rather than a complete overhaul. Aligning process, technology, and regulations will be vital to modernizing the proxy system going forward.
What changes do you expect to see regarding regulation in the new year?
The introduction of Rule 30e-3 and the launch of the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology by the SEC and are just two examples of how regulators are embracing technology. Moving into 2019, we expect to see more positive developments like these from the SEC and regulating bodies to enable innovation as well as engage with developers and providers who can help modernize the industry through technology.
Corporates would disclose race, ethnicity, gender, and veteran status of board members and executives.
The Parker Review requires at least one board director from an ethnic minority background by 2021.
Physical attendance at the AGM will not be possible due to Covid-19.
Sherborne Investors will vote against Staley due to Epstein links.
Executive pay continued to feature at the top of investors’ concerns.