Split SEC Eases Proxy Voting Rules On Corporate Elections

By Tom Zanki (October 26, 2016, 3:12 PM EDT) -- A divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes on Wednesday to make it easier for shareholders to vote for corporate board candidates nominated by activist investors, while unanimously agreeing to relax intrastate crowdfunding rules.

By a 2-1 vote, agency commissioners agreed to amend rules to require the use of universal proxy cards that would let shareholders voting by proxy endorse any combination of nominees they wish, whether backed by activists or corporate management, just as if they were voting in person.

Under current rules, shareholders voting by proxy in contested elections must choose from two competing slates of directors...

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