SEC’s ‘Economic Analysis’ Parroted Companies’ Claims of Proxy Advisors’ ErrorsIn a memorandum released January 16, the SEC’s Division of Economic Research and Analysis responded to CII’s requests for data behind a key table in the Commission’s proposed rule to regulate proxy advisors. The table, found on page 96 of the “Economic Analysis” section of the proposed rule, outlines company disputes with proxy advisors over the content of their reports. The response suggests that the division performed no analysis of its own to corroborate the veracity of companies’ claims. Also, the release excludes company-specific determinations as to whether each registrant had committed a factual error, analytical error, methodological deficiency or some other action causing company concern.
SEC’s Jackson to Leave Commission February 14Ending months of speculation, SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. said he will leave the agency on February 14 to return to teaching, the Wall Street Journal reported. Jackson is a tenured professor at New York University’s School of Law. In his two years at the SEC, Jackson has been a vigorous advocate for investor protection and reforming stock exchange governance. He criticized the SEC’s pending proposal to tighten regulation of proxy advisory firm as “a tax on firms who recommend that shareholders vote in a way that executives don’t like.” Jackson has also blasted dual-class share structures and mandatory arbitration of shareholder disputes. See stories here and here. His departure will leave Allison Herren Lee as the lone commissioner nominated by Senate Democrats. Reuters has reported that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) nominated Caroline Crenshaw, an attorney in Jackson’s office, to fill his seat.
BlackRock Escalates Approach to Sustainable InvestingIn his annual letter to investors, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said investment risks related to climate change are set to accelerate a significant reallocation of capital and he announced several initiatives aimed at making sustainability integral to investment decision-making. To get a clearer picture of how its portfolio companies are managing climate change risk and other sustainability issues, the giant asset manager is asking firms to (1) publish disclosure in line with industry-specific Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) guidelines by year-end, or disclose a similar set of data in a way that is relevant to their particular businesses; and (2) disclose climate-related risks in line with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures’ recommendations.
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News & Highlights
- January 16 - Microsoft Wants to Capture All of the Carbon Dioxide it’s Ever Emitted
- January 14 - U.S. SEC Commissioner Backs Direct Listings to Rein in Wall Street Fees
- January 14 - BlackRock CEO Larry Fink: Climate Crisis Will Reshape Finance
- January 13 - Fact and Fantasy in SEC Rules—The Battle Over Proxy Contests Relies on Imaginary Soldiers
- January 13 - WeWork Debacle Has Unicorn Investors Seeking Cover
- January 11 - ‘Techlash’ Hits College Campuses
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