January 30, 2019
265 companies have added names to a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission penned by Nelson Griggs, President of NASDAQ, calling for proxy reform. In an email yesterday, Griggs announced that this number brings NASDAQ just a few dozen signatures away from their goal of 300, which they hope to reach by January 31.
Griggs first circulated the letter in mid-December. By January 8, over 100 companies had already signed on. This number has skyrocketed in the past few weeks as companies ramp up for proxy season. The diversity of the signatories reflects the broad appeal of proxy reform, with companies “ranging from small cap to large cap from a wide range of sectors,” Griggs writes.
In the initial email in December, Griggs explained that the letter aligns with NASDAQ’s initiative to “revitalize” U.S. capital markets to support job growth, a healthy economy, and long-term wealth creation. NASDAQ launched the initiative last February.
NASDAQ’s push to keep corporate governance reform in the front of the minds of its members comes as the SEC finally reopens its doors after the protracted government shutdown. Though the shutdown put many of the SEC’s activities on pause over the past month, companies have worked to keep the proxy reform issue at the forefront, pouring submissions into the docket the SEC opened to continue the discussion on proxy reform that it launched at last year’s roundtable on the proxy process.
These 265 companies that have signed Nasdaq’s letter are joining the crescendo of voices calling for reform that continued through January despite the government shutdown. With the SEC now open for business, all signs point to continued momentum on proxy reform.