The Case for Shareholder Access to the Ballot
The Business Lawyer, Vol. 59, pp. 43-66, 2003
31 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2003 Last revised: 29 Apr 2009
Date Written: October 1, 2003
The SEC is now considering a proposal to require some public companies to include in their proxy materials candidates for the board nominated by shareholders. I document that incumbents do not currently face any meaningful risk of being replaced via the ballot box, and I argue that providing shareholder access would be a moderate step toward improving board accountability. Analyzing each of the objections that opponents have raised against the proposed shareholder access, I conclude that none of them provides a good basis for opposing it. Indeed, it would be desirable to supplement shareholder access with additional measures to invigorate corporate elections.
Keywords: corporate governance, directors, shareholders, shareholder voting, corporate elections, proxy fights, proxy contests, proxy rules, SEC
JEL Classification: D70, G30, G32, G34, G38, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation