Asset owners, asset managers and civil groups have slammed yesterday’s decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make it harder for shareholders of US companies to file and refile proposals at annual meetings.
Statements issued in the wake of the decision accused the regulator of “blatant pandering to companies”, and alleged that the new rules would “deliberately snuff out” shareholder action on sustainability and social justice issues.
Under the SEC’s new rules, shareholders must hold $25,000 in shares for at least a year, or hold a $2,000 stake for at least three years, to submit a proposal for a vote. Previously, having $2,000 in shares for a year was sufficient to submit proposals.
In addition, the SEC has significantly upped the threshold for refiling a proposal that has been voted on previously. Resubmission will now require 5% of support at first vote, 15% on a second vote and 25% on a third vote. The new rules als…