SEC’s IAC Seeks Input for Agenda

The Dodd-Frank Act established the Investor Advisory Committee (IAC) to advise the Securities and Exchange Commission on regulatory priorities, the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, fee structures, the effectiveness of disclosure, and on initiatives to protect investor interests and to promote investor confidence and the integrity of the securities marketplace. The IAC met for […]

Proxy Advisors Obstruct Proxy Access

The good news is that, on the second round of submissions of the USPX model proxy access proposal, the SEC rejected all no-action requests. We now have votes coming up in the next couple months at Forest Labs ($FRX), Medtronic ($MDT) and H&R Block ($HRB). All three were submtted by individual shareowner Kenneth Steiner. The […]

Proxy Access Moves Forward

The cartoon at left accompanied an article entitled Where are the funds? (Pensions & Investments, 3/5/2012). P&I lamented, “instead of sitting on the sidelines, activist investors should take advantage of the opportunity to file access proposals… proxy access proponents must be adventurous.” Working through the USPX, individual shareowners are using the key; adventure is on […]

Panning for Gold at the USPX Annual Members Meeting

Over July 13-15, USPX members descended on California’s gold country for our Second Annual Members Meeting. We rented a house near Placerville for the weekend. Friday afternoon was mostly socializing. Saturday was the business portion of the meeting. Sunday, we had fun exploring historical sites in the area. Vin Cirulli and Glyn Holton both got […] Changed Vision of ShareOwners

As co-founder Mark Schlegel announced Tuesday, will be closing down its proxy voting platform at the end of the month. See also Ross Kerber’s report for Reuters at Shareholder website closing, cites complex voting rules, 7/11/2012 and Mark Latham’s Sad News: @MoxyVote Is Closing #Corpgov. On the surface, it seems like a real tragedy. I’m sure Mark, Doug […]

2012 Proxy Access Efforts

As Glyn Holton reported last week, the SEC denied no-action requests from Forest Labs ($FRX) and Medtronic ($MDT). (SEC Delivers For Shareowners On Proxy Access, 6/29/2012) Therefore, shareowners will get an opportunity to vote in favor of proxy access at upcoming shareowner meetings. The most definitive report on proxy access efforts I have seen so far […]

SEC Delivers for Shareowners on Proxy Access

USPX members’ efforts to advance proxy access got a boost today from SEC staff. Two companies, Forest Labs ($FRX) and Medtronic ($MDT), had sought no-action letters from Commission staff to allow them to exclude from their proxy materials the USPX model proxy access proposal. Both requests have been denied. These decisions come on the heals […]

Updated Model Proxy Access Proposal

Two weeks after SEC lawyers granted six corporations approval to exclude “proxy access” proposals from their proxy materials, USPX members are already submitting an updated version of that same proposal to other corporations. Updated language addresses the flimsy pretexts for the lawyers’ decision, as well as implementing improvements to the proposal language that shareowners have […]

Pushback From SEC Staff

“Stunning”, “arbitrary”, “unjustifiied” … “questionable”: these are some of the words individual shareowners are using to describe the SEC handling of six corporations’ requests to be allowed to exclude the USPX model proxy access proposal from their 2012 proxy materials.{{1}} This week, the Commission’s staff approved every one of those requests. Corporate executives routinely solicit […]

Reflections on 2011

The United States Proxy Exchange (USPX) is a experiment premised on the notion that a grass roots movement—by individual shareowners, for individual shareowners and funded entirely by dues of individual shaeowners—can improve corporate governance and address financial abuse. It is too early to say for sure, but based on what we achieved in 2011, the […]

Broadridge Fumbles a Virtual Meeting on Virtual Meetings.

A couple weeks ago, Elizabeth Mozley of Broadridge Financial Solutions (BR) invited me to join a working group to develop best practices for conducting virtual annual meetings. I was torn about participating. On one hand, Broadridge has a too-substantial financial interest in the outcome, as they have a near monopoly on the technology for conducting […]

Reform Proposals Delayed But Not Blocked by Apache and KBR.

After two years or legal wrangling, the charade is up. A reform proposal Apache Corp. (APA) has tried to keep from a shareowner vote was resubmitted on Wednesday. It is a fairly benign proposal that, if passed, will ask the board to: … take the steps necessary so that each shareholder voting requirement in our […]

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