Section: September 28, 2023 | Vol. 28, Issue 35
Gensler Defends Rulemaking Pace, Comment Periods, SEC Authority to Implement Climate Rules

In his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee September 27, SEC Chair Gary Gensler defended the commission’s pace and number of rulemakings and length of comment periods against criticisms in a letter GOP members of the committee sent him ahead of the hearing.
Oregon Treasury Advocates for Equity in Director Nominations
The Oregon State Treasury is engaging with 10 companies on “nomination neutrality,” to level the playing field in the director nomination process and ensure that universal proxy ballots are equitable.
Marin County to Vote Against Executive Comp in Excess of 100 Times Median Employee’s Pay
The Marin County Employees Retirement Association (MCERA) voted in May to begin casting its proxy ballots against CEO pay packages that are more than 100 times the pay of the median worker at a corporation. If MCERA had used this as a key criteria for votes on CEO compensation in 2022, it estimates that it would have voted against 53% of say-on-pay proposals.
ICCR Defends SEC’s No-Action Process in Amicus Brief
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) submitted an amicus brief 2023-09-20 - Amicus Curiae Brief of ICCR in Support of the SEC in NCPPR v. SEC, 23-60230 September 21 in the Fifth Circuit case filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) challenging the SEC’s authority to issue no-action decisions on shareholder proposals.
Texas Judge Upholds DOL’s ESG Investing Rule; DOJ Hopes Ruling will Influence Similar Case in Wisconsin

A federal judge in Texas September 21 upheld the Department of Labor’s ESG investing rule and now the DOL is asking another federal judge in Wisconsin to use the recent ruling there as a reference point.
MSC Industrial Opts to Nix Dual-Class Stock
This summer MSC Industrial’s board approved the elimination of the company’s dual-class structure.
Netherlands Poised to Slap 17% Tax on Stock Buybacks
The lower house of the Dutch parliament recently approved a proposal that could result in a 17% tax on stock buybacks by listed companies.
PwC Australia to Publish Independently Audited Financial Statements by 2025
PwC Australia will publish independently audited financial statements for the firm by September 2025, appoint two independent non-executives to the board and implement a number of corporate governance reforms more commonly seen at public companies than at partnership firms.
Annual Spencer Stuart Index Highlights Board Trends

Spencer Stuart last week published its 38th annual Board Index, which analyzes the shifting composition and governance practices of S&P 500 company boards.