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Christopher Netram

NAM Joins New Coalition on Corporate Governance

By | General | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has joined the Main Street Investors Coalition, a new group that will focus on ensuring corporate governance decisions on Wall Street are being made in the best interests of the millions of workers whose retirement security depends on companies remaining laser-focused on long-term growth—and on long-term shareholder returns.

The financial security of Main Street investors, who own stock through their retirement accounts, depends on companies growing and expanding. For too long, the interests of mom-and-pop shareholders have been secondary to the political agendas of major financial industry players.

Manufacturers believe that when companies can invest for growth, the middle class prospers. Often that prosperity takes the form of more jobs and higher wages. But retirement account balances are an important component of American families’ financial health. When financial industry players push agendas that divert time, attention and resources toward their pet causes, it means that less can be invested to pursue the growth that Main Street investors deserve. It’s time that someone stood up for the financial security of everyday, hardworking Americans.

The Main Street Investors Coalition is being launched to raise investors’ awareness of how the system works and currently is being abused—and advance a reform agenda designed to help fix it. Along with the NAM, coalition members include the American Council for Capital Formation, the Equity Dealers of America, the Savings & Retirement Foundation and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Learn more about the Main Street Investors Coalition at mainstreetinvestors.org.

New Report Analyzes the Impact of Proxy Advisory Firms on Public Companies

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

An important new report highlights the influence of proxy advisory firms, largely unregulated entities that shape decision-making at public companies.

The Conflicted Role of Proxy Advisors, released by the American Council for Capital Formation, explores proxy firms’ conflicts of interest and lack of transparency.

These firms advise institutional investors, such as pension funds and mutual funds, on how to vote shares of public company stock held by the funds. That grants the firms significant power over millions of workers’ retirement accounts.

Because of their substantial influence, the report identifies proxy advisors as “quasi-regulators with unchecked power” and makes the case for bringing them within the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  The report specifically quotes former SEC commissioner Daniel Gallagher, who called for the firms to be “subject to oversight and accountability commensurate with their role.”

Bringing proxy advisory firms under SEC regulation is a longstanding goal of the National Association of Manufacturers. In particular, manufacturers support the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act (H.R. 4015), bipartisan legislation sponsored by Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) that was recently approved by the House of Representatives. The bill would increase transparency around the firms’ standard-setting processes, allow public companies to respond to errors in voting recommendations, improve the quality of information available to investors and require the firms to disclose and mitigate conflicts of interest.

As the report makes clear, the proxy advisory firms need accountability, transparency, responsiveness and competition.

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