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Shareholder Engagement Strategies for Public Companies: Avoiding Proxy Contests

Preparation, Communication, Timing, Legal Requirements

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will focus on strategies for direct engagement between a public company and its key institutional shareholders. The panel will discuss preparation, communication, timing, and legal requirements that directors and officers must consider when engaging with shareholders.


Public company shareholders are increasingly focused on various issues ranging from ESG to compensation and board diversity. Active engagement gives companies a better understanding of the factors driving shareholder voting decisions and gives shareholders a better understanding of the company's approach towards issues that concern shareholders.

When engaging with shareholders, the board must coordinate with management to develop the company's strategic vision and provide consistent messaging to investors, employees, and customers. It should know the tendencies of its largest shareholders to propose governance changes or other initiatives and should consider investor concerns when providing public information.

Determining who within company management is authorized to engage directly with investors, and the timing of the engagement (preferably prior to proxy season), is also critical to successful engagement. Some shareholders may seek engagement with a non-management or independent director.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses strategies for engagement by public company board members and officers with key shareholders.



  1. The increasing importance of shareholder engagement
  2. Issues driving shareholder voting decisions: ESG and other matters
  3. Strategies for engaging with shareholders
    1. Identifying key shareholders and their concerns
    2. Aligning board with management in devising and communicating corporate vision
    3. Adequate disclosure of risks faced by the company
    4. Determining which officers and directors will be authorized to engage directly
  4. Timing: when to engage


The panel will review these and other issues:

  • What is the purpose of shareholder engagement, and why is it more important now than in the past?
  • How and when should a public company identify and respond to the concerns of its larger shareholders?
  • What kinds of company disclosures are appropriate when communicating with shareholders?
  • What steps should a company follow to develop and communicate a consistent message to its constituencies?


Roe, Bonnie
Bonnie Roe

Cohen & Gresser

Ms. Roe has over 30 years of experience as a corporate lawyer advising publicly and privately held companies and funds....  |  Read More

Mathew, Shaun
Shaun J. Mathew

Kirkland & Ellis

Mr. Mathew is a leader of the firm’s Shareholder Activism & Hostile Takeover Defense practice. He counsels...  |  Read More

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