Proxy Blog

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

April 13, 2020

 The annual proxy for this pharmaceutical company had the following proposals: 

  1. Proforma proposals on directors, appointment of auditors, and “say-on-pay” advisory vote 
  2. Shareholder proposals on independent chairman and written consent 

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” – Though the peer group was listed, the criteria for the peer group was vague and the company was not benchmarked against the peer group.  
  2. For and against shareholder proposals. 
    -For independent chairman – An independent board is an important part of good governance. An independent chairman is an element of an independent board, though there are situations where an independent chairman does not make sense (e.g., a visionary founder where a material portion of the company value is connected to the founder). This company does not have one of those situations.
    -Against written consent – Per the Magni position paper, Magni routinely votes against written consent proposals.