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Shareholder activism has become a fixture of the annual meeting season for many public companies, as shareholders have sought to use the annual meeting process as a vehicle for advancing particular interests, such as environmental, social and corporate governance issues. Shareholders have effectively used the shareholder proposal process created by SEC rules to include a proposal in a company’s proxy statement, and thereby subject to a shareholder vote. While these proposals have been prevalent at the largest public companies for some time, shareholder activists have increasingly turned their attention to public companies with medium-sized market capitalizations. Given the ongoing threat of shareholder activism through the proposal process, public companies must have a plan to quickly respond when a shareholder proposal is received.

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