Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman Interviewed by Financial Times on the New Universal Proxy Card Rules
The Financial Times (subscription required) interviewed Olshan Shareholder Activist partner Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman on the SEC’s recent rule changes regarding the use of universal proxy cards in contested director elections. The new rules, which require that all nominated director candidates appear on each side’s proxy card, now allow stockholders to pick and choose amongst either slate to build the best board, something activist investors have been seeking for years. “But companies are fighting back,” Elizabeth is noted as saying. “They are racing to update their corporate bylaws to make it harder for activists to make boardroom challenges. For example, hedge funds might be asked to disclose their investors, names that activists usually want to protect from public disclosure.” As the new season of shareholder meetings approaches, some anticipate the SEC’s new rules will promote greater boardroom diversity and overall increased competence among directors.