The Securities and Exchange Commission reversed a Trump-era policy and acted Wednesday to streamline the process for shareholders to propose resolutions on environmental or social issues during the coming proxy season.
The SEC rescinded guidance that since 2017 helped company managers to exclude some shareholder proposals from their annual proxy statements. The change reflects the agency’s emphasis on so-called shareholder democracy under Chairman Gary Gensler, a Democrat tapped by President Biden.
It also comes as deadlines for proposals in the 2022 proxy season are approaching in coming weeks. Under the new policy, SEC staff will be more receptive to shareholder proposals regarding issues that have “a broad societal impact” and will focus less on an issue’s relevance to a particular company.
“The right to put proposals in front of other shareholders for a vote is an important part of the securities laws,” Mr. Gensler said in a statement.SEC Rescinds Trump-era Policy, Eases Path for Shareholder Proposals on Environmental, Social Issues – WSJ