Lorraine Kelly of ISS makes a strong statement in opposition to the SEC’s proposed restrictions on proxy advisors.
To be clear, this proposal is not being driven by institutional investors that hire proxy advisers; our customers are not asking for the government to intervene in the crafting and publication of corporate governance research and recommendations. In fact, many investors have publicly and vigorously opposed the SEC’s proposal.
Rather, it is a faction of corporate America and their well-heeled lobbying organizations in Washington like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers that are leading the charge to silence the voices of their shareholders.
By pushing the government to enact these unprecedented and burdensome regulations, certain corporate representatives have brought into plain view their resentment of shareholders’ ability to disagree with management. In doing so, they have launched a volley of attacks against proxy advisers based on anecdote, faulty reasoning and fabricated news.
While stifling the voice of investors is exactly what some public companies and their Washington lobbyists have wanted all along, it will harm real Main Street investors and hardworking Americans who have invested their financial futures in public companies.
But it is not too late. The SEC can make a course correction. We strongly urge the commission to take its fingers off the issuers’ side of the scale, and — in the interests of investors and the capital markets — withdraw these proposed rule amendments.