April 26, 2018

GE’s Auditor Ratification: This Season’s Big Story!

As Liz foretold in a recent blog, the auditor ratification vote at yesterday’s annual meeting for General Electric is the big story of this proxy season. While shareholders at GE ratified KPMG for another year, as noted in this WSJ article and Cooley blog, there was a “no” vote of 35%.

That’s absolutely unprecedented in my lifetime. Auditors never get less than 90% support – and typically receive favorable votes in the mid-to-high 90s. Last year, 94% of GE shareholders voted in favor of KPMG (which has been GE’s auditor for 109 years). Maybe auditor rotation is here to stay…

By the way, Wells Fargo’s annual meeting also was yesterday. This article portrays it as quite explosive…

Poll: Auditor Rotation After Specified Period of Years?

Let’s presume you’re in favor of an arbitrary cut-off for auditors serving at a single client – most of the more established companies have had their auditors for well in excess of 50 years – what period of time would you consider appropriate? Please participate in this anonymous poll:

surveys & polls

More on “Proxy Season Blog”

We continue to post new items daily on our blog – “Proxy Season Blog” – for members. Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog. Here are some of the latest entries:

– Length of Pay Disclosures? Growth, But Not Much
– Bank of America’s Proxy: A Few Notables
– Political Spending Proposals: “First Come, First Served”
– Voting Results for Last Half of ’17
– Online Movie Ratings: Men Drive Them?

Broc Romanek