Proxy Blog

Booking Holdings Inc. 

May 14, 2019

The annual proxy for this travel services company had the following proposals: 

  1. Proforma proposal on directors, appointment of auditors, and “say-on-pay” advisory vote 
  2. Shareholder proposals on proxy access 

Magni voted as follows: 

  1. For and against proforma proposals.
    -For directors – The board has a majority of independent directors and some have CEO/CFO experience with other companies. The compensation of directors is disclosed with a meaningful portion in equity where the equity has restrictions to align director incentives with long-term value creation. 
    -For auditors – There appear to be no controversies with the financial statements of the company.
    -Against say-on-pay”  The proxy materials mentioned a shareholder engagement program, though the level of activity was not disclosed nor were the discussion topics. The peer group was listed, though the criteria was high level. The peer group disclosures would be much stronger with more specificity and a table showing the company’s performance on key metrics against the peer group. 
  2. Against shareholder proposal on proxy access. The existing practices are comparable to other companies with good governance. The shareholder proposal effectively provided for a director to stand election repeatedly over many years, despite being nominated by shareholders representing a small minority of shares and the candidate receiving a few votes in each election.