Recent Blog Posts
March 25, 2019New Glass Lewis Program Capitalizes on Transparency Concerns
Glass Lewis recently launched a new 2019 pilot program to allow companies and shareholder proposal proponents to review and respond to the advisor’s recommendations. The announcement comes after months of unprecedented scrutiny of proxy advisors from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Congress, companies and retail investors – all of whom are concerned about companies’ inability to weigh in on recommendations.
March 20, 2019Newest SEC Commissioner Raises Critical Questions to the Proxy System
Roisman outlined certain practices within the proxy system that are damaging to the shareholder voting process. He described how many fund managers are automatically voting in line in line with proxy advisory recommendations (even if these recommendations negatively impact returns), a trend now referred to as “robo-voting”. Roisman also stated that he was concerned about factual errors being used to justify these voting recommendations and noted the potential for conflicts of interest to arise between proxy firms and the firms they provide consulting services to.
March 8, 2019New, Concrete Ideas for How the SEC Can Rein in Proxy Advisors and Help Retail Investors
Members of the Main Street Investors Coalition are weighing in this week with a number of ideas for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement that could protect retail investors from the undue influence of proxy advisors. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) submitted a new comment to the SEC and Bernard Sharfman, academic ...
March 6, 2019Speaking Before Institutional Investors, SEC Commissioner Peirce Slams ESG, Reminds them of their Fiduciary Duty
Commissioner Peirce was speaking at a conference organized by the Council of Institutional Investors (CII). CII manages $4 trillion in assets through pension funds, foundations and endowments and members of CII manage a collective $35 trillion. Her speech titled “Festivus, Fortnite, and Focus” touched on many of the same themes discussed at the SEC’s roundtable on the proxy process last November, including the lack of shareholder proposal submission thresholds and the fiduciary duty of asset managers.
February 28, 2019Senate Committee Revisits Corporate Governance Fairness Act, Indicating Forward Movement on Proxy Reform
Today, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on legislative proposals related to capital formation and corporate governance, indicating that the committee will continue its bipartisan push towards corporate governance reform.. Up for discussion during the hearing were three bills reintroduced from the previous Congress, one of which was the Corporate Governance Fairness Act, the piece of legislation introduced by Senator Reed (D-RI) addressing the proxy process.
February 18, 2019New Retail Investors Page Highlights Voices of Main Street
Since the launch of the Main Street Investor Coalition, we have been dedicated to ensuring the views of retail investors are heard as fundamental changes in the investment landscape have empowered institutional investors and proxy advisory firms on matters of corporate governance. Today, we are launching a new page dedicated to sharing the perspectives of ...
February 13, 2019Retail Investor and Bipartisan Coalition Call for Proxy Process Reforms to Take Politics Out of the Boardroom
Two opinion pieces published this week highlight continued momentum on the need for reform of the proxy process, as impacted stakeholders continue to submit comments to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following the roundtable on the issue last fall and as the SEC considers a proposal for specific reforms. In a recent issue ...
February 8, 2019SEC Commissioners, trade groups, institutional investors and asset managers reaching bipartisan consensus on proxy reform portal
Yesterday, the Bipartisan Policy Center and American Council for Capital Formation hosted a discussion on corporate governance’s increasing role in public policy that highlighted a growing consensus around reforming key aspects of the proxy advisory system. The event featured former commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and representatives from trade groups, institutional investors and asset managers from across ...
February 5, 2019NASDAQ proxy reform coalition surpasses 300 companies, submits letter to SEC
Yesterday, NASDAQ submitted a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton calling for proxy reform, reports Fox Business. The letter featured the signatures of 304 publicly traded companies across a diverse array of industries, from airlines to retail stores to medical companies.