Protecting shareholder rights: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

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Shareholder rights group website with article textThreats to shareholder rights tend to come in waves. We’re currently in the midst of a big set, as the groups trying to undermine shareholder rights continue their pushes, one after another – through Congress and now through the SEC. As active owners, we firmly believe that shareholders big and small should have a voice and a method for flagging risks and opportunities that may be in a company’s blind spot. Over the past year, we have written to our representatives to let them know that shareholder rights are important and need protecting. We have gone to Capitol Hill to meet with staffers to educate them on this issue and are planning our next trip to the Hill soon. We have joined with other interested investors to raise our voice collectively on this issue.
In 2016, Clean Yield joined the newly formed Shareholder Rights Group, a group of investors focused on protecting shareholders’ rights. Just last week, the Shareholder Rights Group published a letter to the SEC arguing that the current rules around shareholder proposals work and don’t need changing. We are posting the link to the full article here, because we think it is an important read. Our hope is that, with this letter and related publications, the SEC will take note of these arguments and consider that the system may not be broken, as certain business interests suggest; it may just not be beloved by CEOs who have been called to task on issues ranging from executive compensation to climate change. In a democracy, if you don’t like the results of a vote, you work to change the outcome next time. In a democracy, you don’t change the rules of the game.
For more information about the Shareholder Rights Group, visit the website: