News & Analysis as of

SEC Staff Will No Longer Issue No-Action Letters on Conflicting Shareholder Proposals During the 2015 Proxy Season

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance (the “SEC Staff”) recently announced that it would refuse to grant no-action relief during the 2015 proxy season to companies seeking...more

The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of Proxy Supplements and Amendments

In light of the approaching 2015 annual stockholder meeting season, below is an overview of the essential facts on proxy supplements and proxy amendments or revisions. Determining whether and how to amend proxy material...more

Business Roundtable Gives ISS its Views on Proxy Access

The SEC Division of Corporation Finance recently informed public companies that it will express no views on the application of Rule 14a-8(i)(9) during the current proxy season. The Corp Fin decision leaves public companies...more

No More SEC No-Action Letters on Proxy Access Proposals

Responding to investor pressure, and pressure by shareholder proponents, the SEC Division of Corporation Finance issued this statement: “In light of Chair White’s direction to the staff to review Rule 14a-8(i)(9) and...more

Preparing for the 2015 Proxy Season

Similar to last year, there are no new disclosure requirements which need to be reflected in this year’s proxy statement; however, with ongoing shareholder activism and the desire of companies to communicate effectively with...more

Pumping Up for Proxy Season: Know Your Supplements

In connection with a meeting of stockholders, many companies face the decision of whether and how to prepare and file supplemental or amended proxy materials. The decision to supplement or amend, and how to deliver...more

Proxy Access: Request to Reconsider Whole Foods; Another Seeks to Avoid NYC Proposal

James McRitchie was the shareholder proponent who submitted a proxy access proposal to Whole Foods. The SEC granted Whole Foods’ request to exclude the proposal. Mr. McRitchie has now requested an appeal to the full...more

This “Appeal” Of Whole Foods’ No-Action Letter Isn’t Very Appealing

Last week, James McRitchie submitted an “appeal” of the staff’s grant of no-action advice to Whole Foods Market, Inc. As explained in a post by Broc Romanek, Whole Foods was able to obtain that staff’s concurrence in...more

Whole Foods’ Proposal for Proxy Access Is Sufficient to Exclude Shareholder Proposal

In a closely watched development, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance Staff (Staff) granted no-action relief in early December to Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods, or the Company) in response to the Company’s...more

Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements

A recent court decision and no-action letter have brought to light new issues surrounding issuer requests for Securities and Exchange Commission no-action relief with respect to the ability to exclude shareholder proposals...more

In Texas Can Some Shares Be More Equal Than Others?

Although Rome before Augustus is often described as a republic, it was in many respects ruled by the wealthy who jealously guarded their power. So it was with Rome’s comitia centuriata. In theory, this was an assembly of...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 48

In this issue: - Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements - SEC Approves MSRB Best Execution Rule - SEC Sanctions Operator of Unregistered Virtual...more

On the Third Day of Privacy, the Shareholders Gave to Me……

…….Shareholder Proposals on Cybersecurity and Privacy: Another Country Heard From As the holiday season slips into the rear view mirror, another season looms large for public companies —- proxy season. Adding to the...more

NYC Pension Fund Submits 75 Proxy Access Proposals

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the $160 billion New York City Pension Funds, has submitted proxy access shareowner proposals to 75 companies. The proposals request a bylaw to give shareowners who...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - November 2014

1.As the year moves to a close, expect lots of chatter about the upcoming 2015 proxy season. Including from us beginning right now. 2.Almost certainly because good corporate governance practices just change so darn...more

Anticipating Shareholder Proposals During the 2015 Proxy Season

As companies begin to prepare for the 2015 proxy season, it will be important to anticipate the types of shareholder proposals they should expect so that they can develop a more meaningful response. This can be accomplished...more

Blog: Corp Fin Tallies Shareholder Proposal No-Action Requests And Responses

As reported by Bloomberg, director of Corp Fin Keith Higgins, speaking at the ABA meeting of the Business Law section in Chicago, provided Corp Fin’s tally of no-action requests and responses in connection with shareholder...more

Lead Director Network: Viewpoints: Proxy trends and advisory firm policy

Lead Director Network (LDN) and Compensation Committee Leadership Network (CCLN) members met jointly on July 17, 2014 to discuss proxy advisory firm policy and trends from the 2014 proxy season. They were joined for part of...more

Vote-Counting Standards: A Recipe for Confusion?

Shareholder voting standards was a hot topic this proxy season and will likely continue to be of significant interest next proxy season and in subsequent years. This proxy season, shareholders submitted various proposals...more

Boardroom Perspectives: Three Practical Steps to Stay Ahead of Shareholder Activism

Activist investors continue to shape corporate governance. Last year saw more than 300 activist proxy campaigns, proposals and contests. Activism-focused funds manage over $100 billion in assets. In this climate, no...more

Proxy Season: Enhanced Confidential Voting Shareholder Proposals

Fueled by the controversy during the 2013 proxy season over access to interim vote tallies, “enhanced confidential voting” proposals have been submitted to over a dozen high profile companies for the 2014 proxy season,...more

The Proxy Season Field Guide - Fourth Edition

In This Issue: Executive Summary; Chapter 1 - The Legislative And Regulatory Developments Shaping The Proxy Season; Chapter 2 Say-On-Pay; Chapter 3 Key Disclosure Considerations For Proxy Statements And Annual Reports;...more

Investor Voice May Rue Adoption Of Single Voting Standard

In yesterday’s post, I discussed why the Council of Institutional Investor’s blanket policy eschewing the counting of abstentions may be neither good nor legal. CII, however, isn’t the only proponent of not counting...more

What’s New for the 2014 Proxy Season

Unlike in past years, there are no new disclosure requirements which need to be reflected in this year’s proxy statement; however, with ongoing shareholder activism and the desire of companies to communicate effectively with...more

The Latest in Bylaws–No Director Third-Party Compensation

Every now and then a bylaw amendment gains favor in corporate America. A few brave companies act as early adopters. Then, if the concept has merit and nothing bad happens, other companies follow suit until it becomes...more

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