DFIN’s Guide to Effective Proxies

Optimize Shareholder Communications

Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN) is the country’s premier financial communications firm. Each year we assist more than one-third of U.S. companies with their proxy statements. This assistance includes printing, SEC filing, distribution, web-hosting and furnishing advice on strategy, content and design.*

In the current environment of Say on Pay and heightened shareholder activism and intensifying interest in ESG and sustainability, companies are exploring ways to improve shareholder communications through their proxy statements. In addition to including easy to- understand, plain English disclosures, proxy statements increasingly feature design techniques that draw in the reader, including branded document covers, detailed tables of contents to improve navigation, photos to humanize the board of directors, and graphs to emphasize key trends and ratios.

As a tool to help you evolve your proxy into a more effective communications piece, the Guide to Effective Proxies is a searchable catalogue of innovative and shareholder-friendly proxy statement sections, topics and features, drawn from the public filings of our diverse, blue-chip client base. As such, it demonstrates how companies are raising the bar in their disclosures – which in turn is creating new and heightened investor expectations in the proxy arena. Our guide is intended as a tool to inspire and help you improve the visual appeal and clarity of, as well as navigation to, key aspects of your proxy, and to assist you in developing a style and format that are right for your company.

Doing so can include use of graphs, checklists, timelines, call-out boxes, shading and other visual elements that draw the eye to key information that otherwise might be missed if presented only in textual form. Start by going to the table of contents and select proxy topics, sections or features of interest to you.

When viewing a sample disclosure, if you are interested in seeing the full context, screen based readers can simply click and bring up the entire proxy. Your DFIN representative can arrange a call to discuss the guide, your proxy-related objectives, and how we can help you continue to evolve your document to best meet the needs of your investors and other important constituencies.

*Inclusion in this guide does not mean that Donnelley Financial Solutions served as the designer for the document.