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Shareholder activists suit up

According to the Financial Times, "nearly 700 corporate governance proposals, or proxies, have been filed with US companies so far, a volume exceeding the number filed this time last year, itself a record." What are the hot topics at this year's shareholder meetings? Executive pay, stock options and so-called "shareholder access," a controversial proposal to allow investors to nominate directors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), writes the FT, is considering a new rule to allow shareholders to nominate their own candidates for a board of directors, and will "host a round table on the issue on March 10."

Not surprisingly, companies are taking steps to kill the proposed rule. Interestingly, though, three of America's most powerful pension funds, Calpers, Calsters and the NY State funds, are "testing the waters with a proposal to nominate directors for Marsh & McLennan." This should be an interesting shareholder meeting season. //Billy McCormac

February 23, 2004 in Posts in English | Permalink