SEC Chair confirms mandatory shareholder arbitration provisions and dual-class share structures not near-term priorities
Last week, at a meeting of the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee, SEC Chair Jay Clayton delivered an opening statement, part of which addressed two governance topics of recent debate. One of the topics—dual-class share structures—was on the Committee’s agenda, while the other—mandatory shareholder arbitration provisions—was not. In both cases, Clayton’s mission was to explain “why they are not on my list of near-term priorities.”
As discussed in this PubCo post, BlackRock has recently issued its 2018 Proxy Voting Guidelines for U.S. Securities. Because BlackRock is reportedly the largest asset management firm (with $6.3 trillion under management), its voting guidelines will matter to more than a few companies. And BlackRock takes its proxy voting seriously. With the growth in index investing, CEO Laurence Fink has argued, asset managers’ responsibilities of engagement and advocacy have increased, given that asset managers cannot simply sell the shares of companies about which they have doubts if those companies are included in index funds.