We permit the publication of our auditors’ report, provided the report is published in full only and is accompanied by the full financial statements to which our auditors’ report relates, and is only published on an access-controlled page on your website, to enable users to verify that an auditors’ report by independent accountants has been commissioned by the directors and issued. Such permission to publish is given by us without accepting or assuming any responsibility or liability to any third party users save where we have agreed terms with them in writing.

Our consent is given on condition that before any third party accesses our auditors’ report via the webpage they first document their agreement to the following terms of access to our report via a click-through webpage with an 'I accept' button. The terms to be included on your website are as follows:

I accept and agree for and on behalf of myself and the Trust I represent (each a "recipient") that:

  1. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) accepts no liability (including liability for negligence) to each recipient in relation to PwC’s report. The report is provided to each recipient for information purposes only. If a recipient relies on PwC’s report, it does so entirely at its own risk;
  2. No recipient will bring a claim against PwC which relates to the access to the report by a recipient;
  3. Neither PwC’s report, nor information obtained from it, may be made available to anyone else without PwC’s prior written consent, except where required by law or regulation; and
  4. PwC’s report was prepared with Hermes Property Unit Trust's interests in mind. It was not prepared with any recipient's interests in mind or for its use. PwC’s report is not a substitute for any enquiries that a recipient should make. The financial statements are as at 25 March 2017, and thus PwC’s auditors’ report is based on historical information. Any projection of such information or PwC’s opinion thereon to future periods is subject to the risk that changes may occur after the reports are issued and the description of controls may no longer accurately portray the system of internal control. For these reasons, such projection of information to future periods would be inappropriate.
  5. PwC will be entitled to the benefit of and to enforce these terms.
I accept

1. Select your country

  • United Kingdom
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • USA
  • Other

2. Select your investor type

  • Financial Advisor
  • Discretionary Investment Manager
  • Wealth Manager
  • Family Office
  • Institutional Investor
  • Investment Consultant
  • Charity, Foundation & Endowment Investor
  • Retail Investor
  • Press
  • None of the above

3. Accept our terms and conditions

By clicking Proceed I confirm I have read the important information and agree to the terms of use.


The Hermes Investment Management website uses cookies to remember your preferences and help us improve the site.
By proceeding, you agree to cookies being placed on your computer.
Read our privacy and cookie policy.

Proxy access – The shareholders’ iron supplement

Home / EOS Blog / Proxy access – The shareholders’ iron supplement

Darren Brady
03 March 2015

Elections are, in many ways, the lifeblood of any democracy… but anaemia quickly sets in when those voting have limited say on who the candidates actually are.

The iron supplement for shareholders trying to combat anaemia is proxy access.

Vital mechanism
Proxy access is an important mechanism that gives shareowners a meaningful voice in corporate board elections. It gives shareowners the ability to place their nominees for director on a company’s proxy card, thus avoiding the cost and logistical hurdles of sending out their own proxy cards when they are dissatisfied with a board and want to submit their own candidates for director.

Shareowner access to the proxy has been standard practice for years in many countries, including the UK and Australia. However, in the US board elections are primarily one-sided affairs with companies issuing proxy ballots that list only their slate of nominees for board seats.

Proposed SEC rule
While a 2011 lawsuit successfully struck down a proposed rule by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allowing investors proxy access before it had ever taken effect, it is still possible for shareowners to file proxy resolutions seeking access to the proxy on a company-by-company basis. The proposed SEC rule would have allowed nominating shareowners owning 3% of outstanding shares for a period of at least three years to nominate board members who could at most represent only 25% of the board. We continue to favour this structure when evaluating shareholder proposals on the topic.

Some companies cite the disruption and risk of narrow interest gaining board seats as evidence of the dangers of proxy access.

But that is not true. Not even a little bit. The sky will not fall and revolutions will not be triggered overnight following the introduction of a proxy access mechanism.

That is because – long-term holding requirements aside – getting a nominee on the ballot is the easy part. The nominating party still needs to persuade more than half of other shareowners that the ideas of the nominee are better than those of current board members.

In addition, in non-US markets that have some form of proxy access the shareholder nomination process is rarely used.

In recent months, a wave of academic papers and institutional shareholder groups has come out expressing near universal support of the concept of proxy access. On top of that, several companies that received shareholder proposals on the topic have begun to implement the mechanism – with resoundingly positive investor feedback.

The influential Council of Institutional Investors is unequivocal in its view that “Proxy access will invigorate board elections and make boards more responsive to shareowners and more vigilant in their oversight of companies.”

We agree.

Despite the headwinds, it is clear that the US market is ready for proxy access, even if regulators and companies are not. I frankly cannot think of a more appropriate engendering of the democratic process, nor a more natural – and needed –  home for proxy access than in the ’Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.’

Share this post:
Darren Brady Darren Brady is sector lead for technology and focuses on governance and engagement activities in the Americas. Before joining Hermes EOS, Darren was based in New York as a product manager with New York Life Investment Management where he was responsible for the positioning and management of the firm’s equity products. Prior to New York Life, Darren held similar roles with Oppenheimer Funds and also previously worked for ING and Haidar Capital Management. He holds a degree in Economics and International Studies from Wake Forest University and the CFA Institute’s Investment Management Certificate.
Read all articles by Darren Brady

Find posts by author

  • Alex Knox, ACA
  • Amy Wilson
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Bill Mackenzie
  • Bruce Duguid
  • Christine Chow
  • Claire Gavini
  • Colin Melvin
  • Darren Brady
  • Dominic Burke
  • Dr Michael Viehs
  • Emeric Chenebaux
  • Emma Hunt
  • Geoffrey Wan, CFA
  • Hans-Christoph Hirt
  • Harriet Steel
  • Ilana Elbim
  • Ingrid Holmes
  • Jaime Gornsztejn
  • Jonathan Pines, CFA
  • Joseph Buckley
  • Justine Lutterodt
  • Kimberley Lewis
  • Leon Kamhi
  • Louise Dudley
  • Mark Sherlock, CFA
  • Maxime Le Floch, CFA
  • Maxine Wille
  • Michael Russell, CFA
  • Michael Vaughan
  • Michael Viehs
  • Natacha Dimitrijevic
  • Nick Spooner
  • Nina Röhrbein
  • Peter Hofbauer
  • Philip Nell
  • Rochelle Giugni
  • Roland Bosch
  • Sachi Suzuki
  • Saker Nusseibeh
  • Silvia Dall’Angelo
  • Tatiana Bosteels
  • Tim Goodman
  • Tommaso Mancuso
  • Yasmin Chowdhury

Find posts by category

  • governance