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Oil Companies Seek to Bypass Proxy Access Proposals

Joe Mont | December 29, 2014

In advance of 2015 annual meetings, Marathon Oil and Cabot Oil are seeking the Securities and Exchange Commission’s imprimatur for plans to exclude proxy access proposals submitted on behalf of New York City’s pension funds.

The two companies cite a recent decision to grant no-action relief, a decision not to pursue enforcement action, to Whole Foods when it sought to substitute a more company-friendly access proposal for one submitted by an activist investor. Other companies are expected to also use that no-action letter as the basis for their own requests in the weeks ahead.

In November, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, on behalf of the city's $160 billion pension funds, filed 75 proxy access shareowner proposals requesting bylaws that give shareowners who meet a threshold of owning...

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