Big Fund Managers Ripped for Opposing Political Cash Disclosures – Bloomberg

BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group Inc. and Fidelity Investments are being drawn into a fight over political spending with a top Securities and Exchange Commission official rebuking the fund managers for failing to push corporations to disclose their campaign contributions. As managers of trillions of dollars, BlackRock, Vanguard and Fidelity are among the biggest investors in…

Kingsdale Advisors on the SEC Proxy Proposals

Amy Freedman, Michael Fein, and Ian Robertson, of Kingsdale Advisors write: Anecdotally, at Kingsdale, we know, from our conversations with shareholders and from witnessing the expansion of in-house governance teams, that shareholders are taking back the decision-making process (to the extent it ever really left) as governance is increasingly seen not only as a risk…

Commissioner Lee: Statement on Shareholder Rights

Commissioner Allison Herrren Lee expressed her objections to the Republican Commissioners’ proposed rule on proxy proposals and proxy advisors, starting with the core point that no one has documents any kind of actual problem. There is a common theme that unites the two proposals before us today: they both would operate to suppress the exercise…

Commissioner Jackson: Statement on Proposals to Restrict Shareholder Voting

On November 5, the SEC issued its proposed rules on shareholder proposals and proxy advisors and they are atrocious, violating every possible procedural and substantive requirement for administrative rule making. We will be commenting, urging others to comment, and covering the proceedings in detail. First, the statement objecting to the proposal from Commissioner Robert Jackson:…

ANALYSIS: SEC Corp Fin Staff Tackles “Ordinary Business” Again

Bloomberg’s Peter Rasmussen analyzes a revision of the “ordinary business” exemption for excluding shareholder proposals. He suggests that board members should review management’s assessment that particular proposals should be excluded. The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance staff has issued 22 legal bulletins since July 2001. Of those 22, 12 have dealt with shareholder proposals. The…

Investor Letter to the SEC on 14a-8: Shareholder Proposals

ValueEdge Advisors is proud to be a signer of this letter to the SEC about the importance of preserving an accessible and meaningful shareholder proposal rule. The SEC’s job is to protect investors and maintain well-functioning markets. Thus, we urge the SEC to protect the market mechanism tools available for shareholders to ensure that companies…

On Governance: 2019 Proxy Season was Huge for E&S Proposals

From the Conference Board: For the third year in a row, environmental and social (E&S) proposals are most of all shareholder proposals filed (political spending resolutions have increased in advance of the 2020 presidential elections). Voluntary withdrawals of shareholder proposals have been increasing and in 2019 close to half of E&S proposals were withdrawn after…

SEC to Give Oral No-Action Letters

The SEC has announced that it will not put all of its rulings on shareholder proposals in writing. Some rulings will be oral only. Needless to say, since the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Mesopotamia, the idea has been that it is a good thing to have the rules in writing so that everyone knows…

The SEC should not limit the right of investors to sponsor shareholder resolutions: Guest Post from Timothy Smith, Walden Asset Management

The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has just announced its plans to present a revised Rule that will limit the ability of investors to file shareholder resolutions for votes at company stockholder meetings. This comes amidst a concerted effort by certain business groups to sharply limit shareholders’ ability to exercise these rights as owners of…