On November 17, 2021, the SEC adopted final rules requiring parties in a contested election to use universal proxy cards that include all director nominees presented for election at a shareholder meeting (see HERE). The original rules were proposed on October 16, 2016 (see HERE) with no activity until April, 2021, when the SEC re-opened a comment period (see HERE).
The rule adoption came with a flurry of rule amendments, proposals and guidance related to the proxy process, some of which reverses recent rules on the same subject, including amendments to the rules governing proxy advisory firms (see HERE) and additional proposed amendments to Rule 14a-8 governing shareholder proposals (see HERE).
The final rules require dissident shareholders and registrants to provide shareholders with a proxy card that includes the names of all registrant and dissident nominees. The rules apply to all non-exempt solicitations for contested elections other than those involving registered investment companies and business