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Speed of revolving door between SEC and private sector is shocking, says expert on regulatory capture

“It means you and I can only invest in the bad stuff and the good stuff is reserved for the private investors” writes Francine Mckenna for marketwatch.com. Toys “R” Us, Inc. which recently filed bankruptcy was in and out of private equity ownership.One way to encourage more companies to go public is to shed some light on private equity ownership. Source: marketwatch.com Share This:

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Senate Banking leaders disagree on measures curbing stockholder influence

“Senate Banking Committee leaders disagreed Thursday on whether Congress should enact new laws governing corporate shareholder votes even as the Trump administration explores what actions it can take on its own” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Alongside changes to the shareholder proposal process, organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are also seeking regulatory or legislative action to rein in the influence of so-called proxy advisory firms, which provide voting recommendations to shareholders.”Folks in this town want to stack the deck even further against Main Street, small-time investors,” Sen.Currently, investors with as little…

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Clayton says SEC to focus on rules for financial professionals, proxy process

“Jay Clayton, the Trump-appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on Thursday outlined his priorities for next year, which include new rules for financial professionals and improving the proxy process” writes Francine Mckenna for marketwatch.com. Read: SEC targets proxy and short selling rules, compensation disclosures for possible changes The SEC issued its proposal in May to raise the standard of conduct for broker-dealers and reaffirm and clarify the fiduciary standard for investment advisers. Source: marketwatch.com Share This:

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Obama-era SEC official pushes Senate to rein in corporate advisory firms

“And without congressional attention to the issue, “the outsized role of proxy advisory firms will only continue to grow.”” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Additional regulation is needed to curb the growing influence of advisory firms on corporate shareholder votes, one former federal official plans to tell the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.In a letter to the SEC last month, Blackrock said improvements to transparency around proxy advisory firms “would benefit all stakeholders.”. One proposal under consideration is requiring additional communication between the proxy advisory firms and the companies on which they’re issuing…

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SEC targets proxy and short selling rules, compensation disclosures for possible changes

“Read: Behind the push at the SEC to make it easier for IPOs to be launched The SEC asks for comment on several existing rules related to executive pay and related-party disclosures and also on rules related to the annual proxy and shareholder proposals” writes Francine Mckenna for marketwatch.com. The SEC is encouraging the public to revisit how shareholders nominate directors and to critique rules that enhanced disclosures regarding board leadership, compensation consultants, and board oversight of risk. Source: marketwatch.com Share This:

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Campbell ends proxy fight with Third Point, adds directors

“Campbell Soup will expand its board with the addition of Third Point nominees Sarah Hofstetter, who is president of Comscore, and Kurt Schmidt, a former chief executive of Blue Buffalo Company” reports businessinsider.com. Third Point, which has been talking to a potential candidate, will be allowed to have input in the decision, the company said.In return, Third Point promised not to run a proxy contest in the next year. Source: businessinsider.com Share This:

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Lawmakers push bipartisan bill reining in shareholder advisers

“But corporate executives, who make recommendations of their own before such votes, want more input into proxy advisers’ reports, particularly when their suggestions run counter to the company’s plans” reports washingtonexaminer.com. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday to increase federal oversight of proxy advisers, amplifying pressure on the influential firms in the run-up to a Securities and Exchange Commission review of their operations.ISS said federal legislation is unnecessary, but if it’s passed, the firm would “comply in full with the law and with the highest standards of the…

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Proxy advisers push back at DC criticism: ‘We give shareholders a voice’

“Institutional investors routinely follow their advice, which sometimes opposes the views of a company’s existing board and management” reports washingtonexaminer.com. ISS clients are “sophisticated institutional investors who are free to follow our recommendations or not,” the firm countered in its written comments.They also charge that passive investors like BlackRock or Vanguard – who have substantial voting power because they own large swaths of stock – blindly follow their voting recommendations, enhancing the influence of proxy advisers.Companies like Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis make recommendations on how shareholders should vote…

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Top manufacturing group urges SEC to crack down on proxy advisers

“The nation’s largest manufacturing trade group slammed the growing influence of proxy advisers on shareholder votes and urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to step up oversight of them, according to a letter reviewed by the Washington Examiner” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Critics have also questioned the influence on shareholder votes by large pension funds like the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, which oversees $229 billion in assets.In advance of the SEC’s roundtable discussion on proxy advisers on Nov. 15, the manufacturers’ group said the agency should “consider a more…

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