SEC appoints investor subcommittee chair

Following on from the creation of the SEC’s Investment Advisory Committee, we now have details of its three working sub-committes which will focus on investor education, investor protection, shareholder voting and corporate governance.

The SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee is co-chaired by Richard Hisey from AARP Financial and Hye-Won Choi from TIAA-CREF, in consultation with SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar, who serves as the Committee’s sponsor and chief liaison to the Commission

Stephen M Davis

Stephen M Davis

Of particular interest to institutional investors will be the “Investor as Shareholder Subcommittee”which will be chaired by Stephen Davis, Executive Director of Yale School for Management’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and board member of Hermes Equity Ownership Service. Davis intends to review proxy solicitation and disclosure issues, proxy voting and process (including the role of proxy advisory firms), majority voting, Regulation FD, executive compensation practices, the responsibilities of shareholders, international issues, and technology related to shareholder communications and voting.

The SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee plans to hold its next meeting in early October. “The challenge is that there is no prescribed route for the Committee’s role” said Davis. “However I hope we can initially go after some of the low-hanging fruit for which there is already a strong consensus in the investor community. By that I mean majority voting, and ensuring that Regulation FD has a safe harbor to enable shareholders to communicate with one another.” Davis would not be drawn on a specific timetable for changes enacted other than to get to work “as soon as possible”.

Davis has strong connections with the international investment community having been a pioneer of the ICGN since its inception and said that he fully intended to take on board input from global investors.

Links

SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee >>

Millstein Center for Corporate Governance >>

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