… If the stockholder is to regard himself as a continuing part-owner of the business in which he has placed his money, he must be ready at times to act like a true owner and to make the decisions associated with ownership. If he wants his interests fully protected he must be willing to do something of his own to protect them. This requires a moderate amount of initiative and judgment. – Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, Securities Valuation, 1934
The most fundamental means for shareholders to act like true owners is to help decide who will represent their interests on the board of directors. It is not so much independent directors that shareowners want, but directors who are dependent on our vote – accountable to us, not to the corporate managers they oversee on our behalf. Obtaining the right to proxy access has been a long and perilous road.
On December 1, 2014, SEC staff effectively cut the road, giving a free pass to every group of entrenched board members and managers that seeks to prevent proxy access and direct accountability to shareowners. Continue Reading →