Italgas is aware of the expectations of the institutional investors listed on its shareholder register. Most of them follow criteria that assess ESG factors when selecting the stocks to be included or held in their own portfolio. Moreover, most of them leverage on recommendations of proxy advisors to form their own voting orientation.
Already in 2017, both the Corporate Governance and the Remuneration Policy of Italgas were structured to meet ESG criteria. Nonetheless, institutional investors requested to have more detailed information available in both Reports. With a view to the 2019 Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board Directors, the Legal Cousel and the Investor Relations team made a joint effort to enrich the contents of both the Corporate Governance and Remuneration Reports. The Investor Relations team in particular managed the relationship with proxy advisors, on the wake of an engagement already started for the 2018 proxy campaign.
Proxy engagement is a key activity, as the two leading proxy advisors – ISS e Glass Lewis – can heavily influence investors vote, even if not always they have a comprehensive and correct set of information available when issuing their recommendations on the resolutions proposals submitted to the Shareholders’ Meeting. In order to avoid this risk, Italgas has worked to favor a true understanding of its Remuneration Policy, concerning either the overall structure and specific features, especially for the long-term component. By sharing the preliminary analysis made by the proxy advisors, Italgas could check the correctness of the factual elements to be assessed; that paved the way for the issue of advisors recommendations based on a complete and high-quality set of information.
The voting results of the 2019 Meeting, with 78.26% of voting ordinary capital that was 97.98% in favor of the Remuneration Policy, i.e. with 76.67% of total ordinary share capital in favor, proves that the efforts made have actually been successful.