26 Aug. 2010 | Comments (0)
“Far from effective reform, this ruling will allow special interest groups to pursue narrow agendas and exacerbate the market’s short-term focus, adding more uncertainty than workable solutions at a fragile time in our country’s economic recovery. Our members believe that this newly-created and expanded federal role in how businesses are run is unnecessary and in fact harmful. Rather than encouraging the creation of long-term shareholder value, this new federal right will handcuff boards and directors and stifle American companies’ ability to focus on long-term growth by increasing costs and creating additional uncertainty for the more than 12,000 non-financial publicly traded companies.” -- Larry Burton, Executive Director of Business Roundtable.Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness
“This special interest-driven rule is a giant step backwards for average investors. Using the proxy process to give labor union pension funds and others greater leverage to try to ram through their agenda makes no sense. Instead of giving some investors front-of-the-line passes, the SEC should be focused on advancing the interests of all investors, including retail investors. The Chamber will carefully review the rule that was approved today and will continue to fight this flawed approach using every method available.
“We are concerned that proxy access will allow certain shareholders to have a louder voice than others and harm the very investors this rule purports to defend. The Chamber is committed to a system that allows all shareholders to have an equal voice. The SEC is responding to the campaign of a small group of special interest activist investors while ignoring the needs of the vast majority of investors who will never be able to use proxy access.” – David Hirschmann, President and CEO of the Center.CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System)
“This ruling is most welcome at CalSTRS, which as a fiduciary pledged to preserve our members’ financial security, must maximize the value of its investments for the long haul. One of the lessons of this current economic downturn is to be mindful that governance is a significant risk factor and that greater accountability, which this ruling affords, will go a long way toward mitigating that risk.” -- Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer.CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System)
“We believe that proxy access is one of the most important tools we have to improve corporate governance in America’s boardrooms. When necessary, long-term investors now have an opportunity to propose for election to a board knowledgeable individuals who can bring fresh ideas and new perspective to a company’s operations.” -- Joseph A. Dear, CalPERS Chief Investment Officer.ShareOwners.org
“Proxy access establishes a fundamental shareowner right to hold corporate boards and management accountable. Had this right existed prior to the current financial crisis, it might have put irresponsible boards under greater shareowner pressure to act less recklessly. … We look forward to the full implementation of the rule. At the same time, we encourage the SEC to evaluate the three-year holding period to determine its impact on the effectiveness of the rule.”