Democrats zero in on stock buybacks and executive compensation: While not dismissing the need for action on proxy advisors outright, multiple Democrat Senators, including Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the sponsor of the Senate’s proxy advisory firm legislation, questioned why the SEC was not focusing on stock buybacks. Sen. Reed urged Mr. Clayton not to “defer to compensation committees, which are not that rigorous in many cases, to take strong and appropriate action” on buybacks and the potential impact on executive compensation.
Democrat SEC Commissioner Stein to depart at year’s end: Chair Clayton thanked Kara Stein, who will be departing at the end of the year, leaving the Commission with one Democrat and three Republicans. No successor has yet been announced for Ms. Stein. Although her term ended months ago, she has continued to serve as Commissioner under a federal rule that applies when no successor has been named. Because the Republicans already held a 3 to 2 majority, Stein’s departure is not likely to have a measurable impact on Mr. Clayton’s agenda.
The Center continues to vigorously advocate for needed changes to the proxy advisory firm and shareholder proposal system.