Shareholder Proposals

News & Analysis as of

Third Circuit Lets Wal-Mart Exclude Firearms Proposal Under the “Ordinary Business Operations” Exception

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit summarily reversed a troubling decision of the Federal District Court in Delaware that required Wal-Mart to include in its 2015 proxy materials a shareholder...more

"Wal-Mart Wins Appeal of Shareholder Proposal Decision"

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision on April 14, 2015 that reversed a U.S. District Court opinion and vacated a permanent injunction that would have required Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to include a...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - April 2015

We knew someone would do this for us if we just waited long enough. A summary of early trends in proxy access responses suggests most are including the shareholder proposal and recommending a no vote. See here. Only a single...more

Blog: Third Circuit Allows Wal-Mart To Exclude Trinity’s Proposal From Its 2015 Proxy Statement

No sooner did I post regarding oral argument in the appeal of Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc than I find that the Third Circuit has just issued an Order...more

Blog: Third Circuit Hears Oral Argument In Trinity Wall Street V. Wal-Mart Stores

Last week, the 3rd Circuit heard oral argument in the appeal of Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a decision by a federal district court in Delaware that had enjoined Wal-Mart from relying on the “ordinary...more

Stockholder access to nominate directors gains momentum in 2015 proxy season

Years of regulatory snarls and courtroom battles have left a complex, intertwined state and federal regulatory patchwork for proxy statements that has resulted in split approaches for stockholder proposals on one hand and...more

Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Is it About Guns on the Shelves or Guns in the Streets?

In late November of 2014, a federal district court in Delaware ruled that Wal-Mart must include in its 2015 proxy materials a shareholder proposal seeking heightened board oversight concerning the societal, community, and...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015

FINRA Requests Comment on Current Membership Application Rules. As part of its ongoing retrospective rule review process, FINRA has published, in Regulatory Notice 15-10, a request for comment on the effectiveness and...more

Sixth Circuit Warns Boards Not to Blow Off Notice of Shareholder Proposals

A recent Sixth Circuit decision indicates that company boards should proceed cautiously in providing notice of shareholder meetings, particularly where a dissident shareholder is expected to offer a resolution. ...more

The Financial Report - Volume 4, No. 6 • March 2015 (Global)

OSC Investor Advisory Panel annual report. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) Investor Advisory Panel submitted its 2013-14 annual report. The report summarizes the Panel’s current activities and priorities as well...more

Issuers Omit Proposals From Proxy Statements

As noted here, two issuers have omitted shareholder proposals from preliminary proxy statements where no-action letters from the SEC regarding omission of the proposals have been withdrawn. The blog suggests, within its...more

A Sea Change in Proxy Access?

Proxy access has suddenly leap-frogged to the top of seemingly everyone’s corporate governance list after various setbacks over the past few years. In fact, a March 17th Wall Street Journal article quoted Anne Simpson, head...more

Blog: White Shares Observations On Shareholder Activism, The Shareholder Proposal Process And Fee-Shifting Bylaws

Today, SEC Chair Mary Jo White spoke at Tulane’s Corporate Law Institute, sharing her observations on the current state of shareholder activism, the shareholder proposal process and fee-shifting bylaws. ...more

Blog: Proxy Access: Not A Question Of “If,” But “When”?

This article in the WSJ observes that there appears to be a major shift in the viability of proxy access, as a growing number of companies are adopting bylaw amendments or are expected to submit the matter to shareholder...more

Blog: Push Has Come To Shove For Some Companies On Proxy Access

If you’ve been following the saga regarding shareholder proposals for proxy access this proxy season, you know that around 100 companies received proxy access proposals and that the staff of Corp Fin has refused to express...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - March 2015

It's difficult to discern “trends” from reactions to date on proxy access proposals, but here are some data points: Three companies, including two on the NY Comptroller’s 75-company target list have adopted...more

Blog: Shareholder Proposal Regarding Audit Committee Composition

As noted in this article from Compliance Week, the Corp Fin staff have refused to issue no-action relief to Citigroup agreeing that it could exclude from its proxy statement a proposal from the prolific John Chevedden...more

Proxy Access Developments: ISS Issues FAQs on Voting Policies and Several Companies Voluntarily Adopt Proxy Access Bylaws

On February 20, (ISS) published long-awaited FAQs clarifying its voting policies on proxy access proposals that would allow investors to include director nominees in the company’s proxy materials....more

Blog: Institutional Investors Speak Out On Proxy Access And Conflicting Proposals

Earlier this month, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee devoted part of its agenda to the topic of proxy access and the much debated Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which permits companies to exclude shareholder proposals from their...more

SEC Timeout on Proxy Access Issue Has Wider Implications

On January 16, 2015, the SEC withdrew its December 1, 2014 no-action letter in which it concurred with the view of Whole Foods Market, Inc. that the company was entitled under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude from its proxy...more

Blog: Speakers Comment On Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals As False And Misleading, Rule 14a-8(i)(3)

At the PLI conference on February 10, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins, while focusing primarily on the issue du jour of Rule 14a-8(i)(9), the rule that permits companies to exclude from their proxy statements shareholder...more

Blog: ISS Announces Its Position On Proxy Access And Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals

Yesterday, ISS issued long-awaited FAQs regarding its policy with respect to shareholder proposals for proxy access and its position on exclusion of shareholder proposals under Rule 14a-8(i)(9). ...more

ISS Speaks: Proxy Access, Fee Shifting By-laws and More

ISS has published its policy on proxy access matters. ISS will generally recommend in favor of management and shareholder proposals for proxy access with the following provisions...more

SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Volte-Face Is Pointlessly Outré But It Does Have Real World Ramifications

Readers may recall that last December Whole Foods Market, Inc. had secured the SEC staff’s concurrence in excluding a shareholder access proposal submitted by Jim McRitchie. Then, SEC Chair Mary Jo White directed the staff...more

Sandy Hook Parents and Securities Law Professors Support Trinity Wall Street; Wal-Mart Replies

A group comprised of parents whose children or spouses were victims in the Sandy Hook tragedy, together with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, have filed a brief in support of Trinity Wall Street in a case where...more

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