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July 12, 2023

Proxy Access and Proxy Advisory Firms are Essential to Keep Corporations Accountable to Investors

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Tomorrow, the House Financial Services Committee will hold hearings on the proxy voting process and the proxy advisor industry. Legal Director and Securities Specialist Stephen Hall released the following statement:

“As these hearings begin, it is important to keep in mind that the right to vote on the election of corporate leaders and major corporate policies is one of the most important rights that investors have. The meaningful exercise of corporate suffrage can help ensure that boards and management are accountable to investors.  Investors’ right to vote not only on the selection of board members but also on the adoption of major corporate policies can also help ensure that investors have a voice in corporate strategies affecting the company itself, the communities in which they operate, and even in some cases the world at large.  Because exercising the right to vote on these important corporate matters is usually accomplished through the proxy voting process, that process must empower investors.  The proxy process must ensure that their voices are heard when it comes to electing directors, and their proposals must be included in the company’s proxy statements.  Corporate suffrage depends on meaningful proxy access for investors.

“Investors must also have access to timely and objective proxy advice.  Proxy advisory firms serve investors’ interests by providing them with valuable information that facilitates their corporate engagement.  These firms provide research and analysis on matters subject to a vote and make recommendations on specific matters.  Because the volume and frequency of proxy statements make it difficult for investors to conduct their own analyses, these firms play a crucial role in the proxy process.  Ultimately, they provide investors with independent advice that is not tainted or spun by the inherently biased management of a company.  As a result, investors must be able to receive this independent advice in a timely fashion.

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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