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U.S. companies’ adoption of proxy access bylaws—which give qualifying shareholders the right nominate director candidates on the company’s proxy ballot—in response to shareholder pressure has been the big corporate governance story of 2015 and 2016.

Presently, 40 percent of S&P 500 companies provide a proxy access right; by summer 2017, the majority of the companies in the S&P 500 may provide proxy access, along with 15-20 percent of the S&P 400 index.  As of June 30, 2016, 252 U.S. companies in the Russell 3000 have adopted some form of proxy access; only 16 of these companies had adopted proxy access before 2015.

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