WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tom Quaadman, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber's Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness issued the following statement today regarding the SEC's revised guidance for shareholder proposals:
“With today’s unprecedented announcement, the SEC has sided with a small minority of activists over the vast majority of American investors. By repealing longstanding guidance about treatment of shareholders proposals, the SEC has stated its preference to turn board rooms and shareholder meetings into political debate societies on issues the SEC admits have no nexus to the actual business of the company. This will all come at the expense of companies’ ability to focus on long-term performance, including the welfare of their employees, customers, and shareholders. The SEC’s action undermines the regulatory progress made in recent years to encourage companies to go, and stay, public, which will result in fewer opportunities for retail investors.
“We call on the SEC to immediately reverse this decision. If the Commission believes changes to the shareholder proposal process are necessary, then they should solicit input from the public and consider changes in an open and transparent manner.”