Proxy access bylaws face uncertainty in Canada

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 19 Apr 2017

Canadian companies could be compelled to give shareholders with smaller holdings a say in the director nomination process after shareholders at TD Bank, one of the country’s largest financial institutions, approved the implementation of the country’s first proxy access bylaws.

Just over 52% of the bank’s shareholders voted in favour of this proposal on March 30. Forty-eight percent of the owners of another bank, RBC, approved a similar motion on April 6, although this was not enough to see the motion passed. But the level of support seen at RBC is nevertheless an indication of the growing amount of support given to shareholder-backed director nominations.

TD Bank’s shareholders voted to give owners with at least three percent of shares – as opposed to five percent under existing Canadian statutes – the right to put forward a proposal for a different slate of directors. 

Other conditions attached to...