Measurement Issues in the Proxy Access Debate
Recent empirical data indicate that the Commission’s proxy access proposals reduce shareholder wealth and are inimical to the best interests of the shareholder community at large. Cross-sectional variation in stock price response data further suggest that the Commission should reject a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and that an opt-in rule is less likely to destroy shareholder wealth than an opt-out rule. None of the studies cited by the Commission in its request for further comment support a competing conclusion. The studies cited by the Commission instead suggest a rational basis for the market’s concern that the proxy access process can be captured by a small number of institutions with idiosyncratic objectives that conflict with the best interests of the larger shareholder community.