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Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman Quoted in Bloomberg on the Impact of the New Universal Proxy Rules on Shareholder Activism

Ms. Gonzalez-Sussman predicted that there will be more pressure on companies to reevaluate weaker incumbents, stating, “We may see issuer slates become more right-sized given the risks of defending a weak nominee.”
September 7, 2022

Olshan Partner in the firm’s Shareholder Activist practice and Head of ESG Activist Investing Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman was featured in a recent edition of Bloomberg’s newsletter (subscription required) entitled “New Rule Will Shake Up How Activist Board Fights Play Out”.  The new rules, which went into effect on September 1st, require the use of “universal proxy cards” in contested director elections, meaning that director candidates nominated by both management and by shareholders must all be listed on each proxy card - allowing investors to be able to choose from candidates nominated by either side.  Bloomberg spoke with several shareholder activism experts regarding how they expect the new rule to impact activists, companies, and battles for board control.  Elizabeth noted that it will become necessary for activists to explain why a nominee is more qualified than all of the incumbent directors as opposed to just the incumbent directors being targeted by the activist.  

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