The filing of a significant portion of proposals by a few individual proponents is neither new, nor unsupported by fellow investors. In fact, the 14a-8 proposal process, since its inception, has always had the effect of empowering a few shareholders who have made it part of their investing strategy and mission to improve the governance of the companies in which they invest. From the 1950s onward, there were active shareholders with limited stock holdings like the Gilbert brothers and Wilma Soss who pressed for sensible and practical governance changes by companies through the proxy process. Over time, many of the changes they sought were implemented and even adopted as SEC rules. Compared with historical numbers, the proportion of proposals currently filed by so-called gadflies, the active corporate governance proponents, has fallen from 100% when the shareholder proposal rule was first instituted, down to 50% some years ago, and to 30% today.
What has changed over these years, and the reason we believe you are under pressure to suppress the “gadflies,” is that gadflies are winning much more support for their proposals. Large numbers of mainstream, institutional, and values or faith based investors are voting in favor of those proposals, very often leading to majority support or higher.  Disrupting such productive corporate governance engagements is not in the best interest of the investing community or the capital markets.