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N OT I C E O F 2021 A N N UA L M E E T I N G O F
S TO C K H O L D E R S A N D P R OX Y S TAT E M E N T
April 5, 2021
To My Fellow BXP Stockholders,
On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I want to thank you for your continued support of Boston Properties and invite you to attend our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. In view of the continuing health risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have determined that our annual meeting this year will once again be a virtual meeting, conducted solely via audio webcast. You will be able to participate in the virtual meeting online, vote your shares electronically, and submit questions by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/BXP2021.
Over the course of our 50-year history, Boston Properties has proven its resilience through a variety of global, national, secular and BXP-specific challenges. These included financial recessions, wars, terrorist attacks on the cities in which we operate, and the sudden passing of
one of our co-founders. In every instance, although we endured some short-term pain and uncertainty, we adjusted to the conditions and emerged stronger. That said, by any measure, 2020 was a remarkably challenging year, one in which we experienced three mega-events simultaneously: (1) the most serious worldwide health crisis of our generation; (2) a collective reawakening to the sad reality that the road to achieving racial justice in our country remains long and difficult; and (3) a much- heightened awareness of the importance of environmental and sustainability issues.
In view of these remarkable events, I want to change course this year. Instead of using this letter to summarize and highlight financial information that is contained in the accompanying Annual Report and proxy statement, I want to talk about how Boston Properties responded to these challenges and where we stand as we move into the second quarter of 2021. Spoiler alert: under the strong leadership of our CEO, Owen Thomas, and our President, Doug Linde, the Company acted thoughtfully and responsibly, successfully meeting these complex challenges with compassion and in a manner consistent with our recognition by Newsweek as one of America’s Most Responsible Companies.
Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented and outsized challenges for everyone – people died, lives were disrupted, and the economy suffered massive dislocation. In addition, because COVID restrictions kept people out of offices, retail stores, restaurants and hotels for most of the past year, it presented special challenges to our business. That reality, in turn, brought front-and-center one of our Board’s most important responsibilities – risk oversight. Of course, the Board is always aware that, as one of the largest publicly traded owners of Class A office properties in the United States, BXP operates in a challenging environment, and attention to risk is a constant staple of our work. But COVID – and the consequent temporary shift in the locus of work (from office to home) – took that recognition to a new level, as the world and our company navigated uncharted waters with no idea as to how long they would persist.
Right from the outset, therefore, the Board changed its usual way of operating in order to ensure that we remained fully abreast, in real time, of the risks posed by the pandemic and management’s responses to them. In particular, the Board and several of its committees held a significant number of additional meetings in 2020 to analyze and act on these matters, while all of the directors engaged with management even more frequently in informal settings. We wrestled with the unpredictability of the pandemic, the uncertainty of its duration, its effect on our business as well as on the businesses of our tenants, what it would mean for our stockholders and stock price, how we would conduct public reporting in the face of uncertainty, whether work-from-home would be a short-term blip or have longer-term consequences, how we would ensure the safety of our tenants as they began to return to our offices in greater numbers, and perhaps, most importantly, what effect all of this would have on our employees, the lifeblood of our company. When appropriate, we also brought in outside experts to help us address these vexing matters.
| 2021 Proxy Statement
We also took special precautions to protect employees and tenants from exposure to COVID. We worked with our own property management teams and brought in world-renowned health security experts to develop a Health Security Plan for operating our properties. The plan is now widely viewed as a world-class,market-leading safety protocol. Most importantly, as a result of this extraordinary work, we kept our commitment to our tenants by providing them with clean and safe buildings that remained open for business throughout the pandemic. In this regard, the Board wishes to express special thanks to BXP’s property-management teams, who were instrumental in helping us meet our tenants’ needs.
Although there were some inevitably choppy waters, especially at the outset, under the leadership of Owen and Doug, the Company moved forward with confidence and a focus on our long-term objectives, even when doing so may have had short- term negative implications. We refinanced a significant amount of debt, approved several development opportunities, effectively husbanded our assets, and dealt fairly with our tenants, many of whom faced their own serious economic challenges. I am pleased to report that positive results are beginning to show. Our stock has recovered a substantial portion of the early losses experienced throughout our industry, our buildings are now being safely reoccupied, and our employees remain committed and highly motivated.
As I write this letter, a year since the outbreak of COVID, remarkably the U.S. is now providing its citizens with vaccines. Consequently, although the pandemic is not yet over, and we continue to adapt our day-to-day operations to respond to its effects and our tenants’ needs, as we move into the spring of 2021 there is no doubt that renewed hope and optimism are in the air. We expect that in a few months everyone that wants to be vaccinated will have had the opportunity to do so, and that our buildings will return to most of their pre-pandemic operations.
Nevertheless, as a leading company in the office business, we will inevitably face continuing questions and uncertainties over the impact of the “work-from-home” experience of the past year on our business going-forward. For our part, based on extensive internal analysis, external outreach and our directors’ own experience in leading organizations, we continue to believe that there is no better way for a company to support its own success than by fostering the necessary culture, collaboration, mentorship, training and creativity, all of which result from bringing people together to work in teams in a person-to-person collaborative environment. These are the essentials that the modern office provides, and we believe that this core foundational view will soon be reaffirmed by companies throughout the nation.
This past year, Americans also witnessed major social-justice movements that spotlighted the racial injustices and economic inequities that continue to plague our society. In response, and despite the separate challenges of COVID, the Company decided that we needed to expand and accelerate our longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Owen immediately set the tone-at-the-top by signing on to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion campaign, the largest collective business commitment ever made on this issue. The Company also took internal steps to address these issues by establishing the BXP Diversity and Inclusion Committee in early 2020. The mission of this new committee is two-fold: (1) to promote and ingrain diversity, inclusion, equality and transparency as a cornerstone of BXP’s culture, business activities and decision-making practices; and (2) to provide a priority mechanism for developing specific D&I-based programs that will have a positive impact on the Company as well as in the broader community. In addition, the Board expressly committed to engaging with management to identify other ways by which we can drive further change, and, for the first time, our Compensation Committee has included goals and objectives to ensure that our executives are held accountable for progress on these issues. To be fully transparent, we intend to provide periodic updates on the results of these efforts.
| 2021 Proxy Statement
Commitment to ESG
Lastly, responding further to the past year’s challenges, the Company has stepped up its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts, which you will be able to see in detail in the accompanying proxy statement. Our investment and operating philosophies are both shaped by our core strategy of long-term ownership and our commitment to making our communities the centers of commerce and civic life that make them thrive. We are increasingly focused on developing and maintaining healthy, high-performance buildings, while simultaneously mitigating operational costs and the potential external impacts of energy, water, waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change. To these ends, we have publicly adopted long- term energy, emissions, water and waste goals containing aggressive reduction targets that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, as you will see more about in our proxy statement, Boston Properties is recognized as an international leader in sustainability and ESG, and our management and Board firmly intend to preserve and enhance those achievements. For transparency, we have committed to provide high-quality ESG data and information for evaluation by independent third parties and, as new ESG assessments, ratings and frameworks emerge, we intend to engage fully with our stakeholders to make sure that we remain nimble and responsive.
The accompanying proxy statement contains a great deal of other important information about Boston Properties, and we hope you will take the time to read it and vote at the annual meeting. Whether or not you are able to participate in the “virtual” annual meeting, we welcome your interest in our affairs and thank you for your continued support.
Joel I. Klein
Chairman of the Board
| 2021 Proxy Statement
NOTICE OF 2021 ANNUAL
MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING OUR VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETING
Due to the continuing public health concerns relating to the coronavirus, or COVID-19, Boston Properties’ 2021 annual meeting will be a “virtual” meeting conducted by live audio webcast. Stockholders will not be able to attend the meeting in person, but will be able to listen, vote and submit questions during the virtual annual meeting from any remote location that has internet connectivity. You or your proxyholder may participate and vote by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/BXP2021 and using your 16-digit control number on your proxy card, voting instruction form, or the Notice of Internet Availability you previously received. For more information, see “Information about the Annual Meeting – Attending the Virtual Annual Meeting” on page 105 in the proxy statement.
A list of stockholders entitled to vote at the meeting will be available for examination by any stockholder for any purpose relevant to the meeting for at least ten days prior to May 20, 2021. The stockholder list will be available in electronic form during the annual meeting online at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/BXP2021.
Since becoming a public company in 1997 until 2020, we always held our annual meetings in person. However, due to COVID-19, we held a virtual annual meeting last year for the first time. We intend to hold our future annual meetings in person when it is safe to do so.
Whether or not you plan to attend the meeting and vote your shares of common stock virtually in person, we urge you to vote your shares as instructed in the proxy statement. If you received a copy of the proxy card by mail, you may sign, date and mail the proxy card in the postage-paid envelope provided.
If your shares of common stock are held by a broker, bank or other nominee, please follow the instructions you receive from your broker, bank or other nominee to have your shares of common stock voted.
Any proxy may be revoked at any time prior to its exercise at the annual meeting.
By Order of the Board of Directors,
Frank D. Burt, ESQ.
April 5, 2021
Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the Stockholders Meeting to be Held on May 20, 2021. The proxy statement and our 2020 annual report to stockholders are available at www.proxyvote.com.
| 2021 Proxy Statement
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Boston Properties Inc. published this content on 05 April 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 05 April 2021 16: 21: 03 UTC.
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