Corporate governance is no longer just a hot topic for rarefied conversation; it is a permanent element in corporate valuations. This year, we witnessed the continuation of many trends that we observed last year. In the United States, shareholder activism remained in sharp focus in financial markets, in the C-suite and in the boardroom, and shareholder engagement continued to be a front-and-centre and increasingly sophisticated industrial priority. The governance themes – proxy access, fee shifting bylaws, shareholder engagement and cybersecurity – were not new. What was new was the growing consensus on many of these issues or, at minimum, the growing consensus that these issues are here to stay and warrant board attention.

This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through: Corporate Governance 2015, (published in June 2015; contributing editor: Holly J Gregory, Sidley Austin LLP). For further information please visit