Concept Release on the US Proxy System
Hat tip Moxyvote for this note:
On July 14, the SEC published the linking to the SEC asking for comments on proxy voting Concept Release on the US Proxy System. They occasionally issue these releases, maybe two or three times a year, when they’re considering substantial problems. They want your feedback.
This time around, the SEC describes our current proxy voting system, its consequences on shareholder communication and participation, and the imperfect coupling of voting power and economic interest. From the introduction to this document:
…we are reviewing and seeking public comment as to whether the U.S. proxy system as a whole operates with the accuracy, reliability, transparency, accountability, and integrity that shareholders and issuers should rightfully expect. With over 600 billion shares voted every year at more than 13,000 shareholder meetings, shareholders should be served by a well-functioning proxy system that promotes efficient and accurate voting.
If you have something that might help the SEC think this through, drop them some comments before October 20th.
Moxy Vote submitted comments on this Concept Release that you can read at: http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-14-10/s71410-181.pdf
It describes some of the reasons why retail investors aren’t participating in the proxy voting process. Two of the most important are:
While they provide this service to institutional investors, many retail brokers refuse to direct client proxy ballots to a Web-based voting platform like Moxy Vote.The industry charges just as much to count a ballot for 100 shares as it does to count CalPERS’ ballot for 100,000 shares, to the benefit of large shareholders. (Note: Moxy Vote will always be free to shareholders.)