February 22, 2019
Hundreds of public companies have joined Nasdaq in petitioning the SEC to address the “poorly-calibrated regulatory ecosystem” of the proxy process, which is "producing fewer IPOs and driving many companies out of the public markets."
Nasdaq's letter makes several recommendations for the SEC to address proxy advisory firm and shareholder proposal reform:
Commissioner Roisman to take the lead: At the SEC’s February 6 Investor Advisory Committee meeting, SEC Chair Jay Clayton announced that Republican Commissioner Elad Roisman would lead the SEC’s efforts to “improve the proxy voting process and infrastructure.”
Calling the proxy plumbing system “inefficient, opaque, and unreliable in its accuracy,” Commissioner Roisman thanked Chair Clayton for the opportunity while also calling out concerns about proxy advisory firms and asset manager voting practices, indicating that it is "important for us to study and address these issues, as appropriate."