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June 7, 2021

Better Markets Supplementary Comment Letter on Universal Proxy

On June 7, 2021, Better Markets filed a supplementary comment letter on a proposal by the SEC to establish a universal proxy requirement for most contested corporate elections. We support the creation of a universal proxy requirement, which would improve corporate governance and accountability, and we urge the SEC to finalize and enact this proposal as soon as possible.

Shareholders in American corporations have the right to vote on important matters and to choose the board members that will run the firm. Strong shareholder suffrage rights and protections are one of the reasons that U.S. equity markets continue to be the envy of the world. Because most shareholders are unable to attend the annual shareholder meetings for every firm they hold stock in, most voting is done by mail-in proxies.

Currently when there is a contested election in which multiple parties put forward slates of candidates, shareholders voting by proxy are unable to exercise their full voting rights and must pick one of the slates in its entirety, without selecting a mix of the candidates they believe are optimal.   The SEC initially issued a proposal in 2016 that would have solved this problem. While the proposal received support from Better Markets and many other investor advocates, it was never implemented.

We urge the SEC to move quickly to correct this mistake and fully implement the proposal, with some adjustments, immediately. Read our full comments here, or by clicking the button below.

Comment Letters

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