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SEC Nixes Proxy Access Proposal

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The confused idea of shareholder democracy suffered a set-back today when the SEC voted 3-1 to allow companies to block investors from placing board nominees on official corporate election ballots. There will no doubt be lots of hand-wringing about this vote but most of what you need to know about the proxy access proposals can be found by looking at its biggest proponents: labor unions and union dominated pension funds. The funds and unions favor proxy access rights not because they have an altruistic urge to help shareholders in general or out of a metaphysical attachment to democracy. They supported it because they believed it would give them a leg up in negotiations with management and corporate boards. Ordinary shareholders can breath a little easier that this attempted power grab has failed.
SEC denies shareholder bid for more power in board elections [LA Times]