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SEC Steps Back from Company, Investor Fights Over Proposals (1)

Sept. 6, 2019, 4:25 PMUpdated: Sept. 6, 2019, 7:19 PM

The SEC is stepping back from its role refereeing disputes between companies and shareholders that use proposals to press for action on issues from climate change to corporate governance.

Securities and Exchange Commission staff might not give their view on company requests to keep shareholder proposals off their ballots, the agency said in a Sept. 6 notice. Seeking staff advice isn’t required but companies and investors have come to rely on it to decide whether a submitted proposal should go to a shareholder vote.

The staff might also forgo written responses going forward and respond verbally instead, potentially limiting...

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