February 5, 2019
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.
Nelson Griggs, president of NASDAQ, first circulated a draft of the letter to NASDAQ’s member companies in mid-December. In a testament to the growing popularity of proxy reform, over 100 companies signed the letter within three weeks. By the end of January 265 companies had joined NASDAQ’s coalition, and the popularity eventually surpassed Grigg’s goal of 300 signatories.
In the letter, Griggs identifies “three critical frustrations” at the core of the current proxy advisory system: conflicts of interest, accuracy and ability to correct errors, and transparency of proxy voting standards.
This letter is a part of NASDAQ’s broader strategy to reform public markets in a way that supports job growth, a healthy economy, and long-term wealth creation: issues that the hundreds of companies and retail investors agree are vitally important. The vast popularity of this approach is good news for both.