Business Roundtable Advocates for Reforms to Improve Shareholder Engagement and Promote Long-Term Value

CEO Organization Submits Comments Ahead of SEC Staff Roundtable on Proxy Process

November 15, 2018

To help inform today’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff roundtable on the proxy process, Business Roundtable has submitted detailed comments to the SEC outlining reforms that will benefit shareholders, stakeholders, public companies and the U.S. economy.

“Business Roundtable believes that having an accurate, efficient, transparent, and verifiable proxy system that is oriented toward long-term value creation is vital to constructive shareholder engagement and the successful operation of public companies,” the CEO organization noted in its comments to the SEC. “Business Roundtable believes these updates and reforms will help create a better proxy system that will not only promote more successful shareholder engagement but also benefit investors and other stakeholders over the long term.”

In its comments, Business Roundtable called for addressing inefficiencies in the proxy system through reforms to several key areas of the system:

  • Modernizing the shareholder proposal process so that it provides for more effective shareholder communication and engagement and is oriented toward creating long-term value for all shareholders;
  • Reforming the regulation of proxy advisory firms to improve accuracy, transparency and accountability;
  • Reforming and streamlining the shareholder communications and proxy voting process to make voting more transparent and verifiable and to increase retail investor participation; and
  • Reforming the disclosure rules under Securities Exchange Act Section 13(d) to ensure timely and transparent disclosures from investors seeking to control the company.

As a leader in advancing modern and effective corporate governance principles, Business Roundtable has consistently advocated for reforms that will deepen shareholder engagement and allow public companies to better connect with and understand the interests of long-term shareholders. Modernizing the proxy process is key to accomplishing these goals.

The full details of the above recommended reforms can be found in the Business Roundtable comments to the SEC. In addition, Business Roundtable Senior Vice President and Counsel Maria Ghazal will participate in the SEC roundtable’s panel on “Shareholder Proposals – Exploring Effective Shareholder Engagement.”

For more information on Business Roundtable actions, principles and priorities to advance sound corporate governance, please click here.