A few weeks ago, I attended the “spring” meeting of the Council of Institutional Investors in Washington (the quotation marks signifying that it didn’t feel like spring – in fact, it snowed one evening). These meetings are always interesting, in part because over the 15+ years that I’ve been attending CII meetings, their tone has changed from general hostility towards the issuer community to a more selective approach and a general appreciation of engagement.
So what’s on the mind of our institutional owners? First, an overriding concern with capital structures that limit or eliminate voting rights of “common” shareholders. CII’s official position is that such structures should be subject to mandatory sunset provisions; that position strikes me as reasonable (particularly as opposed to seeking their outright ban), but it’s too soon to tell whether it will gain traction.