The Procter & Gamble vs. Trian Fund Management fight has highlighted the value of the retail vote. The battle will be won or lost by the vote of the retail shareholder. (See the listed reference.)
About forty percent of the outstanding voting stock is in the hands of the retail investor. If that vote comes in favor of management, we can confidently predict that P&G will win.
Unfortunately, it appears to be a Procter & Gamble win by a slim margin which has been challenged by Trian demonstrating the importance of the retail vote and the difficulty to get them to vote.
However, it is not surprising, based on the increasing difficulty to communicate with the retail base. Many people do not open their mail unless they identify it as important. If they do open the mail, they do not want to take the time to read through an unfamiliar instruction.
Further with data breaches and phone scams that have entrapped thousands of people. Examples are: a bogus IRS call, or DEA call, or “your grandchild is in trouble and needs bail money,” or, more recently, “your child/wife has been kidnapped” has highly sensitized people. Phones will be answered if we recognize the number. The same with mail – is it recognizable?
This defensive apathy by the public in general has spilled over to the retail shareholder. It is hard to obtain their attention – and difficult to get them to act.
This is not only true of the retail shareholders and registered shareholders, but also mutual bank depositors; another category of voters, who share the same apathy as the retail shareholder.
It can be overcome by laying out a strategy with management. Cooperation that includes a number of techniques - which can be employed to obtain their attention.
The strategy is time consuming and expensive. We have demonstrated that it works but it is not easy.
From your friends at Laurel Hill
Ref: The Wall Street Journal – Saturday/Sunday, October 7 – 8, 2017