The Shareholder Communications Coalition is an advocacy organization dedicated to improving the ability of individual investors to vote their shares and communicate with the publicly traded companies in which they invest. The Coalition also seeks to educate individual investors about their rights as shareholders and the importance of participating in corporate elections.
The Coalition has issued a Statement of Principles, which describes the problems in the current system of shareholder voting and communications. Many individual investors are also unaware of what rights they have when owning equity securities. To help investors learn about these issues, the Coalition has developed a Research Center, with information and materials describing: (1) how stocks are purchased, sold, and traded; (2) the process by which individual investors vote their shares in corporate elections; and (3) the process by which shareholder voting can be influenced through share lending practices and the use of complex derivative products.
In its advocacy efforts, the Coalition is working to change rules and regulations adopted many years ago by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Coalition supports a Petition for Rulemaking Regarding Shareholder Communications that was filed with the SEC on April 12, 2004, by the Business Roundtable. You can obtain more information about this Petition and other SEC developments and activities on the Regulatory Action page. A central point of the Petition is to enable companies and all of their owners to know who owns the company.
The U.S. stock exchanges are also considering rule changes that will impact the voting process used by individual investors. For example, the New York Stock Exchange Proxy Working Group (PWG) has developed several recommendations regarding the proxy voting process. You can learn more about the Proxy Working Group and its views on the Regulatory Action page.
Congress has a role to play in ensuring that the rights of individual investors and other market participants are protected and enhanced. You can monitor the Coalition's activities before the key House and Senate Committees with jurisdiction over the SEC on the Congressional Action page.
The Coalition has many allies and supporters in its efforts to change these antiquated shareholder voting and communications rules. These allies include publicly traded companies, proxy solicitation and technology companies, mutual funds, other institutional investors, and many within the academic community. The Coalition posts letters and public statements by these institutions and prominent individuals on its Coalition Allies page.
The news media play an important role in our society and the Coalition is actively engaged with the media about shareholder voting and communications issues. Keep up with media reporting on these issues through the Coalition's Media Center page.
The Coalition encourages individual investors and other market participants to get involved in persuading federal policymakers to improve the process by which shareholders are able to vote their shares and communicate with publicly traded companies. Individual investors also need to see that their rights are being protected when they purchase shares through a broker or other financial intermediary. Investors can learn about how to become advocates for these issues on the Get Involved page.
All visitors to the website are encouraged to stay informed about Coalition activities and developments on these important public policy issues by receiving free updates through the Email Alerts service. Please click here if you would like to receive these regular updates by electronic mail. You can also contact Coalition representatives about shareholder voting and communications issues on the Contact the Coalition page.
SEC Regulatory Action on Proxy Infrastructure Issues
On July 14, 2010, the SEC issued a Concept Release on the U.S. Proxy System. This Concept Release seeks public comment on a wide range of proxy voting and shareholder communications issues. Interested parties may continue to submit comments after the deadline of October 20, 2010. More information about the Concept Release can be found on the Regulatory Action page.
Click here to review the SEC's Concept Release issued on July 14, 2010
Click here to review public comments filed with the SEC on this Concept Release
Click here to link to a website (www.reformtheproxysystem.com) sponsored by The Securities Transfer Association, encouraging public support for changes to the U.S. proxy system
Click here to review the Coalition's comment letter to the SEC on this Concept Release