In Focus

CII Spearheads Pushback Against SEC Proxy Advisor Regulation

CII sent a letter co-signed by 60 public and union pension funds, religious orders, hedge funds, mutual funds, other asset managers and investor organizations urging the commission not to saddle proxy advisors with requirements that would reduce independence, effectiveness and competition in the field. 
 
The letter expresses concern that the guidance and interpretation issued will increase litigation, staffing and insurance costs for proxy advisors that will be passed on to institutional investors and retail shareholders. The SEC should reconsider these actions and allow for public comment, the correspondence recommends. Any future proxy advisor rulemaking that requires proxy advisors to share advance copies of their research and voting recommendations with companies could “severely jeopardize the interests of investors, individual and institutional, in a fair and fully functioning proxy system,” the correspondence warns. Such a move also would intrude on the independence of proxy advisors and hinder the proxy voting process. 

New Website Defends Shareholder Proposals

Investor groups have launched a new website, the Investor Rights Forum, which explains risks to the shareholder proposal process, and provides research and case studies on the value of shareholder proposals. The sponsoring organizations are US SIF, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and the Shareholder Rights Group, with support from CII. The Investor Rights Forum says that the shareholder proposal rule is “not broken,” so “don’t ‘fix’ it.” The site includes useful FAQs, as well as “Shareholder Proposals 101.”

 

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CII Priorities

Fair Financial RulesSensible, effective rules safeguard investors and strengthen markets.

Dual-Class StockEach share of a public company's common stock should have one vote.

Majority Voting for DirectorsIn uncontested elections, directors should be elected by majority vote.

Universal ProxyIn contests, investors should be free to vote for the nominees they prefer.

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