SEC Modernizes Shareholder Rules, Limiting Corporate Critics’ Voices

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted today to modernize its shareholder proposal rules, raising the amount of money one needs to initially invest in a company to propose changes to it in proxy statements, a move critics say would restrain the ability of shareholders to hold corporations and CEOs accountable on a variety of issues—namely on climate change, human rights and corporate board diversity.

SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton argued today’s amendments to the shareholder proposal rules ensured that there’d be an “appropriate alignment” between the interests of shareholder proponents and all shareholders, while Commissioner Elad Roisman said the rule changes make sure anyone bringing a proposal to be included in a company’s proxy statement has a sufficient economic stake or investment interest in the corporation. 

“The only constant in our markets is the fact that they will change. It is our job as regulators to make sure our rules keep

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