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Sustainability Matters

Sustainability Matters: New SEC Rule Weakens Influence of Main Street Investors

Shareholder proposals play a central role in corporate governance.

SEC chair Jay Clayton, he who helps make a foursome for the president’s golf outings and whom the president wants to appoint federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, is fond of saying he’s all about protecting the interests of “Main Street investors.” 

In fact, a group called “The Main Street Investors Coalition” emerged in 2018 to support Clayton’s efforts to make changes to the rules by which investors could propose shareholder resolutions at company annual general meetings and to limit the ability of proxy advisors to give unvarnished voting advice to shareholders. What seemed odd was that the SEC’s proposals made it harder for everyday investors to participate in corporate governance.

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