Tag Archives | Financial CHOICE Act

Investor Response to Chamber: Don’t Gut Rights

Investor Response to Chamber: Letter

Representatives of hundreds of investors with trillions of dollars in assets delivered a letter to the SEC on November 9, 2017, An Investor response to U.S. Chamber’s Proposal to Revise SEC Rule 14a-8 (report).

We noted with interest the November 1, 2017, guidance contained in Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14I. While we are reserving judgment about how the guidance may apply in practice, we are particularly pleased by Director Hinman’s accompanying statement that the guidance is not intended to “make things easier or harder for one side or the other, . . . [but] to improve the process.” We strongly support that goal and plan to actively monitor the SEC staff no-action process during the upcoming proxy season to determine whether the goal was achieved.

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WD-40 Win Win – Majority Vote Standard

WD-40 win winWD-40 win win is due to a shareholder proposal filed by James McRitchie and directors who want good corporate governance practices. Earlier this week, I reported that Broadridge amended its proxy proxy access bylaws to allow groups of 50 to nominate directors. Now WD-40 has filed bylaws to implement McRitchie’s proposal requesting that uncontested directors be elected only by a majority vote. Continue Reading →

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Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility: CHOICE Act

Interfaith Center on Corporate ResponsibilityThe Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of institutional investors representing $200 billion in invested capital that engage corporations on the environmental and social impacts of their operations, sent a letter yesterday to all U.S. Senators urging them not to pass the Financial CHOICE Act.

The proposed legislation, which passed the House and is currently pending in the Senate, would not only eviscerate critical financial reforms instituted in response to the 2008 financial crash, but would also eliminate the long-standing right of shareholders to exercise their voice regarding the governance of the companies they own. Continue Reading →

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Town Hall Meetings: Financial CHOICE Act

Town Hall Meetings on the Financial Choice Act

Town Hall Meetings on the Financial Choice Act

Town Hall Meetings on the Financial Choice Act are right now the most urgent defense line to protect shareholder rights. As you are aware, the Financial CHOICE Act (which threatens to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Shareholder Proposal Rule) has been referred to the full House of Representatives for a vote as early as next week.  Congressional Representatives are on recess, and are expected to hold town halls or office hours this week. Clearly, time is of the essence. Background: Continue Reading →

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Financial CHOICE Act: From too big to fail, to too big to listen

Financial CHOICE Act Does Away with Shareholder Proposals

Financial CHOICE Act Does Away with Shareholder Proposals

Great article this morning on the proposed Financial CHOICE Act from Lauren Compere, Director of Shareholder Engagement at Boston Common Asset Management entitled Too Big To Listen? Dodd-Frank and Shareholder Rights! See also “Shut Up”: Not What Good Companies Tell Their Owners from Julie Fox Gorte, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Pax World.

Below is a copy of a very thoughtful letter from Sanford Lewis, an amazing attorney who represents SRI and pension funds, as well as individual investors including John Chevedden. Two points they made that I failed to mention in my post:

  1. Rule 14a-8 was created to empower the individual investor; large institutional investors using it came later.
  2. Radical changes  may impinge on  “investment backed expectations” associated with the rule — an array of arrangements, contracts, etc. that implicate property rights.

The bill is being heard in Committee today and will be marked up in early May. It is still important to get in letters and email as I mentioned in my post, Financial CHOICE Act: Take Action. Below is the letter from Sanford Lewis with slight formatting changes.

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Financial CHOICE Act: Take Action

Financial CHOICE Act Does Away with Shareholder Proposals

Financial CHOICE Act Does Away with Shareholder Proposals

The draft Financial CHOICE Act, among other things, would take away a shareholder’s choice to file proxy proposals, their choice to refile similar proposals in subsequent years, their choice to use an agent to help them file and their right to choose from competing candidates unless they attend the meeting in person. The draft Financial CHOICE Act will be heard by the Financial Services Committee on Wednesday April 26 at 10 a.m. Take Action: Contract Committee members and staff to express your opposition (contact information below).

See most problematic language for shareholders, Shareholder proposal process in the crosshairs, full discussion draft and summary of a couple of key sections. Continue Reading →

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