This was a tight one.
Shareholders of Community Health Systems last week voted definitively to reinstall the company's board, stick with Deloitte & Touche as the hospital operator's auditor and give a nod to its executive compensation plans. But shareholder requests to expand how the company might claw back some of its executives' compensation as well as make it easier for investors to nominate board candidates were much closer.
Earlier this spring, CHS executives had encouraged shareholders to turn down both proposals, saying the clawback push was too vague and that the proxy access proposal "advances a solution for a problem that does not exist."
In the case of the second of those proposals — advanced by the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds — CHS barely got the negative result it wanted: With more than 99 million shares voted at the meeting, the difference between the nays and ayes was only 423,000, or 0.4 percent. Check the numbers here.
We will not be at all surprised next spring to see the Connecticut pension managers return with their plan — if it isn't quietly adopted before CHS' 2016 proxy filing deadline.
Shareholders of Pinnacle Financial Partners last week voted to declassify the bank holding company's board of directors, a process that will completed two years from now. Investors also approved by very wide margins the other items of business put before them.
The board of LifePoint Hospitals will soon have a new lead director because Bob Shell, who has held that role since late 2010, will in early June retire, having reached LifePoint's mandatory director retirement age. Shell, a former Bank of America division president, has been a LifePoint director since 2002 and was the Brentwood-based company's non-executive chairman from 2006 to 2010. There's no word in the company's proxy statement as to who will take his place as lead director. The board will vote on that after being re-elected.
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