SEC Seeks Comments on Proxy System

As part of the SEC's examination of corporate governance reform, the Commission unanimously voted today to issue a concept release seeking public comments for the next 90 days on the U.S. proxy system and asking whether rule revisions should be considered to promote greater efficiency and transparency. Generally, the U.S. proxy system governs how investors vote their shares on matters presented to shareholders at shareholder meetings. "The proxy is often the principal means for shareholders and public companies to communicate with one another, and for shareholders to weigh in on issues of importance to the corporation," said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. "To result in effective governance, the transmission of this communication between investors and public companies must by timely, accurate, unbiased, and fair." The concept release which is requesting comments is organized under three general areas: Accuracy, transparency, and efficiency of the voting process; communications and shareholder participation; and relationship between voting power and economic interest.

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