As anticipated on November 5, 2019, the SEC issued two highly controversial rule proposals. The first is to amend Exchange Act rules to regulate proxy advisors. The second is to amend Securities Exchange Act Rule 14a-8(b) to increase the ownership threshold requirements required for shareholders to submit and re-submit proposals to be included in a company’s proxy statement. The ownership thresholds were last amended in 1998 and the resubmission rules have been in place since 1954. Together the new rules would represent significant changes to the proxy disclosure and solicitation process and shareholder rights to include matters on a company’s proxy statement. Not surprisingly, given the debate surrounding this topic, each of the SEC Commissioners issued statements on the proposed rule changes.
I am in support of both rules. This blog addresses the proposed rule changes related to shareholder proposals. Shareholder proposals, and the process for including or excluding such proposals in a company’s proxy statement, have been