ImpactAlpha, July 18 – In a 3-2 vote, the Securities and Exchange Commission last week finalized the reversal of two Trump-era rules that limited the ability of proxy advisory firms to guide clients on how to vote in corporate elections.
“It is critical that investors who are clients of these proxy advisory firms are able to receive independent and timely advice, “ S.E.C. Chair Gary Gensler wrote in a statement published ahead of the vote.
The same day, the Commission proposed a rule clarifying and amending the requirements under which a shareholder proposal may be excluded from a company’s proxy materials, thereby making it more difficult for companies to avoid votes on particular matters. This would likely mean shareholders will face fewer barriers in bringing up environmental, social and governance-related proposals.
The votes were the latest development amid an already busy regulatory season for the impact investing field. Below is a roundup of open rulemakings and upcoming comment deadlines for those interested in voicing their perspectives with regulators:
- IFRS – General Sustainability-Related Disclosures – Comments due July 29
- IFRS – Climate-Related Disclosures – Comments due July 29
- OCC, FDIC, Federal Reserve – Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Joint NPR – Comments due August 5
- EFRAG – European Sustainability Reporting Standards – Comments due August 8
- SEC – Fund Names Rule – Comments due August 16
- SEC – ESG Disclosures for Investment Advisors and Investment Companies – Comments due August 16
- SEC – 14a-8 Updates on Basis for Exclusion of Shareholder Proposals – Comments due September 12 or 30 days after publication in the Federal Register
In partnership with the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, ImpactAlpha is featuring public policy updates and expert insights to help Agents of Impact engage with government to create an enabling environment for truly impactful business and investment decisions.