SEC Staff Offers Guidance Regarding Investment Advisers and Proxy Advisory Firms

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The SEC’s Division of Investment Management and Division of Corporation Finance published joint guidance on June 30, 2014 regarding investment advisers’ responsibilities in voting client proxies, and two exemptions from the federal proxy rules that are often relied upon by proxy advisory firms.

The staff noted that the guidance may require investment advisers and proxy advisory firms to make changes to their systems and processes. In this regard, the staff stated its expectation that these changes should be made promptly, “but in any event in advance of next year’s proxy season.”

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