SEC Suspends Trump-Era Proxy Advisory Rule

From SEC Chair Gary Gensler [footnotes omitted, emphasis added]: In September 2019, the Commission issued an interpretation and guidance addressing the application of the proxy rules to proxy voting advice businesses. Last July, the Commission adopted amendments to Rules 14a-1(l), 14a-2(b), and 14a-9 concerning proxy voting advice. I am now directing the staff to consider…

SEC Announces Suspension of Controversial Proxy Advisory Rule: ISS Responds

Institutional Shareholder Services issued the following statement in light of today’s announcement by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, Gary Gensler, regarding the application of the proxy rules to proxy voting advice: “We welcome the SEC’s announced decision to consider revisiting its proxy adviser rulemaking, which we believe was ill-conceived, inconsistent with the law, and…

Push to kneecap super proxy advisers

The influential advisory firm controlled by the $500 billion industry super fund sector would be kneecapped under a push by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to regulate the way institutional shareholders vote on how companies deal with environmental, social and governance issues. The proposed measures include forcing proxy advisers to give the companies they are reviewing a…

Proxy Advisory Firms Release First Reports on Latest Best Practices

For the first time, six of the world’s most influential shareholder voting research and analysis firms (better known as “proxy advisors”), which help institutional investors vote shares at stock-exchange-listed companies worldwide, have each publicly released reports showing how they comply with the latest industry Best Practice Principles. Proxy advisors have been a target of corporate…

Deutsche Boerse to buy 80% of ISS for $1.8 billion | Reuters

The German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse DB1Gn.DE said on Tuesday it would acquire an 80% stake in Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) for about $1.8 billion, the latest in a flurry of deals to sweep across the exchange industry. Deutsche Boerse to buy 80% of ISS for $1.8 billion | Reuters

The Chamber’s Appalling Amicus Brief on Proxy Advisors

The Chamber of Commerce, which has already deployed millions of dollars to get the SEC to restrict the sole source of independent research on proxy issues, has now filed an amicus brief in the ISS challenge to the rules. As expected, it is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. It is particularly…

Four Spots Biden Is Likely to Reverse SEC Deregulation

In a Biden administration, a reconstituted SEC led by a Democratic chair and consisting of a Democratic majority will most likely launch an active rulemaking agenda, roll back Trump-era regulations, and step up its enforcement and inspections programs. Here are the four places to look first as the SEC retires the Commission’s current deregulatory approach….

ISS’s Lorraine Kelly Responds to SEC Rule on Proxy Advisors

Lorraine Kelly, head of governance business at ISS, writes in Barron’s about the SEC’s proxy advisory rule. An excerpt: Since last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been swept up in a well-funded corporate lobbying campaign pressing for enactment of onerous regulations that will make it more difficult for shareholders to voice disagreement with…

VEA Vice Chair Quoted: Divided SEC Passes Controversial Proxy Advisor Rule

Nell Minow, Vice Chair of ValueEdge Advisors and a co-founder and former president of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), takes a different view on the proxy advisor rules. She told me that the rulemaking procedure is deficient in several different ways, and could be subject to court challenge. Initially, the Commission acted without proper regard…