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In September 2017, the New York City Comptroller (NYCC) launched the Boardroom Accountability Project 2.0 – an initiative that was designed to put pressure on large public companies to “refresh” their boards to make them “more diverse, independent and climate-competent.”
The initial phase of the Boardroom Accountability Project, launched in 2014, focused on bringing proxy access to the mainstream, and, coupled with significant support from other institutional investors, fueled the dramatic increase in the adoption of proxy access by-laws over the last three years. The second phase, which focused on those companies that had adopted (or will soon adopt) proxy access, was designed to use the threat of proxy access to force companies to engage in a discussion on board diversity.
In connection with the second phase, the NYCC sent letters to the chairs of the nominating and governance committees of 151 U.S. public companies asking them to: