U.S. SEC to vote on July 13 to adopt proxy rules that undo Trump-era condition

Published 07/06/2022, 01:43 PM
Updated 07/06/2022, 02:25 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People exit the headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021.  REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will vote on July 13 to adopt rules boosting disclosures around proxy voting advice, the agency said on Wednesday.

The rule, which the Wall Street regulator voted to propose in November, is also expected to undo a Trump-era rule allowing companies a first look at proposals from proxy advisory firms, which recommend to investors how to vote in corporate elections.

The agency will also propose a rule that would amend certain “substantive bases” for exclusion of shareholder proposals, the agency notice said.

In November, the SEC unveiled a measure that requires enhanced disclosure and voting options in all corporate director elections. Among other conditions, the agency proposed to rescind a Trump-era rule that required proxy advisors to give companies that are the subject of their advice a first look at reports.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People exit the headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021.  REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

While industry groups will likely question whether the regulator's proposed changes are warranted, investor advocates are expected to cheer the move, which the SEC said responds to concerns about the ability of proxy advisers to deliver independent voting advice to their clients in a timely manner.

Separately, the agency's new proposal on shareholder voting rights follows a November staff bulletin that sought to may make it harder for corporations to keep shareholder proposals on matters like workforce diversity or climate from being voted on at annual meetings.

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