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Ryan Nebel Quoted in Insightia Newsletter on How the Universal Proxy Card is Shaping Activism

January 24, 2023

Vice Chair of Olshan’s Shareholder Activist practice Ryan Nebel was quoted in an Insightia newsletter on the impact that the SEC’s rule changes regarding universal proxy cards in contested director elections has had on activism since they took effect for meetings starting in September 2022. “Unlike the first half of the year,” Ryan said, “we had companies come to the table pretty quickly after nominations were delivered. Many companies were not interested in being the guinea pig for the new universal proxy rules.” The settlements, he added, were motivated in part by concerns at underperforming companies that old and over-tenured directors would be especially vulnerable to the universal proxy card’s more tailored voting process. The adoption of the new universal proxy rules has the potential to expand the shareholder activist universe: “We've had quite a few inbound inquiries from non-traditional activists and even non-profits that are exploring the possibility of using the UPC,” Ryan explained. “How many will follow through on it remains to be seen but those types of people are certainly exploring the idea.”


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