SEC Guidance Could Subject Proxy Firms To Closer Scrutiny

By Tom Zanki (August 21, 2019, 2:40 PM EDT) -- A divided Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved guidance clarifying how investors should rely on proxy advisory firms when making voting decisions, a move welcomed by business interests but panned by certain investor advocates.

The commission voted 3-2 on two separate items, which taken together could subject proxy advisory firms to tighter regulatory scrutiny. Democratic appointees Robert Jackson and Allison Herren Lee dissented on both votes, concerned that the measures could harm the quality of advice to shareholders.

The role of proxy advisory firms, which provide institutional investors voting advice on corporate ballot items and elections, has been a flashpoint...

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