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Dec 17, 2019

GM governance team discusses benefits of collaboration on proxy statements

Highlights from the Corporate Governance Awards 2019

GM’s securities counsel John Kim says he is proud of how the company worked cross-functionally to deliver its award-winning proxy statement this year.

GM won the best proxy statement (large cap) category at the Corporate Governance Awards for the second consecutive year. The company’s 2018 proxy statement was largely a response to a proxy contest with Greenlight Capital, whereas the 2019 statement was used to focus more on the company’s long-term vision.

‘We announced a major transformation in the fall of 2019, restructuring the way our product development group is organized and announcing major investments in electric vehicles,’ Kim told Corporate Secretary at the Corporate Governance Awards. ‘At the same time, our CEO has been driving a transformation with respect to our culture.’

Kim explains that communicating this strategic shift called for input from many corners of the business. ‘The biggest thing I’m proud of this year is getting a cross-functional team involved,’ he says. ‘Brian [Marsh, senior manager of executive compensation and HR,] is an executive compensation expert who has driven our CD&A. I’m on the legal staff so I think about things from a governance and SEC disclosure perspective. [This year we brought in] in folks from investor relations, communications and strategy, and got their perspectives early and often. We got our CEO and board involved in how we tell the story of our business and articulate our vision for investors and other stakeholders.’

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Ben Ashwell

Ben Ashwell

Ben Ashwell is the editor at IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary, covering investor relations, governance, risk and compliance. Prior to this, he was the founder and editor of Executive Talent, the global quarterly magazine from the Association of...