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Solutions for fixing proxy process are often radically different

Joe Mont | October 11, 2018

Few would argue that proxy voting is a bad thing. Most see the ability to participate in corporate governance matters as important for both investors and to companies. 

Here, however, is the catch: Only a relative handful of shareholders will travel to attend shareholder meetings in person. The long-established, continually debated proxy system was designed to give investors the ability to remotely vote, submit proposals, and otherwise make their views known to management on such important matters as director elections, say on pay, and proposals that more frequently are demanding initiatives and action on social, political, and environmental concerns.

Many of the fundamental concerns about shareholder engagement are once again coming to a head. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton announced recently that his staff will host a roundtable on Nov. 15, “to hear investor, issuer, and other market participant views about the proxy process and rules.”

The roundtable will focus on...

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