Shareholders Ask SEC Chairman to ‘Resist Current Efforts to Curtail Investors’ Rights’

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Shareholders Ask SEC Chairman to ‘Resist Current Efforts to Curtail Investors’ Rights’
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BERKELEY, CA—OCT. 28, 2019—A group of concerned investors wrote to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton on Friday urging him to protect retail investors by opposing an impending rulemaking that would curtail shareholder rights. The letter notes that the rulemaking appears responsive to Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce demands to alter filing and resubmission thresholds on the theory that 25 or 30 percent of shareholder proposals are filed by only a few proponents.

The letter notes that there is no upsurge of such shareholder proposals — recent filings are consistent with the proposal process that has functioned well for decades. Instead, the letter notes that the motivating factor is due to the upsurge in YES votes by fellow shareholders on proposals addressing climate change and corporate governance. Clayton will likely hold the deciding vote on Nov. 5 when proposals are put forth by some members of the SEC. The letter asserts that the changes could inappropriately silence retail investors by rigging the rules against them while also curbing the rights of all shareholders to exercise their votes on important proposals at their companies.