Shareholder Proposals

News & Analysis as of

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

Proxy Access Update—Director of SEC Division of Corporation Finance Remarks on Decision to Suspend No-Action Relief Based on Rule...

On February 10, 2015, Keith Higgins, Director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, provided his informal views (available here) on the Division’s controversial decision to “express no views” on the application of...more

GE and Others Voluntarily Adopt Proxy Access

GE has voluntarily adopted a proxy access by-law proposal. The by-law permits a shareowner, or a group of up to 20 shareowners, owning 3% or more of the Company’s outstanding common stock continuously for at least three...more

Blog: Corp Fin Director Higgins Shares His Thoughts On Rule 14a-8(I)(9), The Exclusion For Conflicting Proposals

At a PLI conference yesterday on Corporate Governance, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins gave us a preview of the Division’s thinking about how to address the issues that have arisen recently with respect to Rule 14a-8(i)(9),...more

2015 Proxy Season: What to Expect

As we approach this year’s proxy season, it is a good time to reflect on last year’s developments and to plan for this year’s hot topics. A Look Back - In addition to reviewing your own shareholder voting results...more

Proxy Access - Recent Developments

Recent activity by shareholder governance advocates and the SEC has thrust proxy access back into the spotlight. Here we provide a brief refresher on proxy access and our thoughts on recent developments....more

Trinity Wall Street Responds in Appeal of Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal

Currently before the Third Circuit is Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The case involves whether Wal-Mart can exclude a shareholder proposal under the “ordinary business exception” to Rule 14a-8. Trinity...more

Withdrawal of Whole Foods No-Action Letter Leaves a Hole in Proxy Access Proposal Defense

On January 16, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that, for the 2015 proxy season, the Division of Corporation Finance will not express any views as to whether a company may exclude a shareholder...more

Barbarians at the (REIT) Gates: REITs Should Be Prepared for a New World Order of Shareholder Activists, Hostile Overtures and...

Publicly traded REITs today face an increased risk of potential shareholder activism, proxy fights and otherwise hostile overtures. In response to this growing trend, public REITs should examine their corporate governance...more

Issuer Welcomes Shareholder Proposal

A coalition of investors submitted a shareholder resolution to Royal Dutch Shell plc. The resolutions titled ‘Strategic Resilience for 2035 and Beyond’ call for company disclosures on: - ongoing operational emissions...more

SEC Staff To Express No Views On Conflicting Shareholder Proposals Under Rule 14a-8(i)(9)

On January 16, 2015, SEC Chair Mary Jo White issued a directive that the staff of the SEC review its position on Rule 14a-8(i)(9) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). Concurrent with SEC Chair White’s...more

SEC Suspends Review of Conflicting Shareholder Proposal No-Action Requests

On January 16, 2015, the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Staff”) announced that the Staff will express no views on no-action requests, arguing that shareholder proposals...more

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

SEC Chair Directs Staff to Review Commission Rule Excluding Conflicting Proxy Proposals

On January 16, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White announced that she has directed the SEC’s staff (Staff) to review Rule 14a-8(i)(9) promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which allows an...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 3

In this issue: - SEC Chair Directs Staff to Review Commission Rule Excluding Conflicting Proxy Proposals - SEC Comments on FINRA's Proposed Rule Amendment to Increase Pricing Disclosure - CFTC Grants...more

Blog: Glass Lewis Jumps Into The Fray On Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals For Proxy Access

The WSJ reported on Friday afternoon that proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis may recommend against company nominees for director when the company excludes a shareholder proposal for proxy access on the basis of a conflicting...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

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