News

November 16, 2018
Articles

The proxy voting system, where shareholders elect board members and get a say on other contentious issues, is “complicated, somewhat arcane and . . . out of sync with modern technology,” said Bruce Goldfarb, chief executive of Okapi Partners, a proxy solicitor employed to drum up support during a contested vote. “The P&G situation put a spotlight on issues that have been plaguing the proxy process for years.”

October 23, 2018
Articles

“Predicting how a large investor might vote based on prior votes is becoming more difficult and activists need to conduct a careful analysis of a potential target’s shareholder base to effectively map out a strategy. Companies also need to monitor their shareholder base constantly to make sure they understand who owns their shares.”

May 17, 2018
Articles

“All participants within the corporate outreach and investor community should work together to make more information available about annual meetings, corporate governance and other issues. As ESG matters become more important in the boardroom, for example, we think retail shareholders’ interest in voting will naturally go up and voting levels will improve with better technology.”

April 24, 2018
Articles

“‘I like to say that it was a series of fortunate events. The beginning of 2008 was clearly not the best time to start a new firm but we charged ahead, free of conflicts and happy to take on assignments for either side of a campaign,” said Goldfarb, co-founder, CEO and president of Okapi Partners LLC in an interview with The Deal. “Looking back, it turns out that we were at the beginning of a big change in shareholder activism, corporate governance and overall engagement with investors.”

April 19, 2018
Articles

At Exxon Mobil’s annual shareholder meeting last year, for instance, Vanguard and BlackRock’s votes helped pass a shareholder resolution that the oil giant would regularly report the effects of climate change on its business—a blatant defiance of management’s recommendation. “That marked a turning point,” says Bruce Goldfarb, CEO of the proxy solicitation firm Okapi Partners. “The large index investors had mostly voted with management on environmental matters up until then.”