I was delighted to see the influential trade publication, Pensions&Investments, endorse a petition to the SEC sent by the Council of Institutional Investors to amend its rules to allow a complete list of board candidates to be included in corporate proxies. (Better Way to Elect Directors, 2/3/2014: subscribe)
In casting their votes by proxy now, shareholders cannot pick and choose individual nominees from opposing slates to vote for any combination of management and dissident candidates…
Only shareholders attending annual corporate meetings and voting in person can receive a ballot allowing them to pick and choose among all management and dissident nominees. Such an option is impractical for most institutional investors, which often hold stock in thousands of companies, as well as for most other investors because of cost.
The SEC shouldn’t deny the same privilege to shareholders who cannot attend meetings that it allows to those shareholders who do show up.
Under current rules, the SEC shortchanges shareholders in exercising their voting rights. Shareholders tend to vote by proxy, and the SEC should recognize that practice in changing its rule…
Corporations want their nominees elected. That’s fine. But the playing field should be fair, without restricting shareholders from having a full list of nominees from which to choose.
I urge readers to Take Action: Support CII Rulemaking Petition for “Universal” Proxy.
Please send e-mails in support of the petition to [email protected]. The public is encouraged to submit comments on rule making petitions. All submissions should refer to File Number 4-672 in the subject line. The Commission will post all comments on petitions on the Commission’s Internet website. Comments are also available in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
See my comment letter File Number 4-672. Why is mine the only one!