Proxy Season Is Back! 

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Global companies publicly subjected to activist demands hits highest Q1 level since 2018, according to new data from Insightia.

NEW YORK, APRIL 17, 2023 | Insightia, a Diligent brand, has released its latest statistical analysis of shareholder activism worldwide in its latest quarterly report, Shareholder Activism in Q1 2023

Driven by spiking activity in the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and Canada, the number of companies worldwide is on pace to surpass last year’s total of 973. The number of companies publicly subjected to activist demands was up 6% year-on-year in Q1.

The 2023 Proxy Season

Other key findings in the report include: 

  • Global environmental demands remain at an elevated level but slightly below their peak in 2022, while social-related demands increased 26% worldwide.
  • A relatively muted debut season for the universal proxy card, which came into effect on September 1, 2022. Activists won 50 board seats at U.S. companies in the first quarter, compared with 45 in the same period of 2022, but lower than in 2020 and 2021. Several activists recently withdrew board seat demands following stronger than expected quarterly earnings releases.
  • More activists are asking companies to return cash to shareholders, in what may be a sign that shareholders expect companies to move past the caution of the pandemic years. The trend is visible in all regions covered by the report but most pronounced in the U.S. and Asia. 

Commenting on the findings, Insightia Editor-in-Chief Josh Black said:

While the 2023 proxy season may not be defined by the breakout role of the universal proxy card, shareholder activism is alive and well with global increases in activity. The range of topics investors are engaging issuers on, from ESG transparency and oversight to capital allocation, executive compensation, and board composition, require a strong awareness of a company’s strengths and vulnerabilities and an active communication program.

About Insightia

Insightia, a Diligent brand since January 2022, is a market-leading SaaS company formed in 2020 through the merger of Activist Insight and Proxy Insight. Launched in 2012 and 2013 respectively, these companies had quickly risen to become leaders in their fields.

Together, Insightia provides unrivalled coverage of shareholder activism, investor voting, and corporate governance. Through its new web application, Insightia One, clients can access the most complete solution for listed company intelligence on the market, with broader and deeper insights than ever before.

About Diligent

Diligent is the global leader in modern governance, providing SaaS solutions across governance, risk, compliance, audit, and ESG. Serving more than 1 million users from over 25,000 customers around the world, we empower transformational leaders with technology, insights and confidence to drive greater impact and lead with purpose. Learn more at