The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) is pressing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require companies to name the investors behind shareholder proposals in proxy statements, after adopting the policy at its latest conference.
In a press release Thursday, CII noted that the current rules only require companies to name shareholder proponents on request but that identifying the investor or group behind the proposal could make it easier for other shareholders to engage with the proponent.
“Although most companies disclose this information, some do not,” CII said in the statement. “Investors’ interest in the identify of proponents also reflects the growing number of proposals filed by interest groups. Shareholders casting proxy ballots are especially interested in monitoring for instances where a proposal’s substance has a tenuous or limited connection to its proponent’s main policy objectives.”
In recent years, an increasing number of proposals have been filed by anti-ESG activists appearing to copy proposals that support diversity initiatives, while actually calling on companies to condemn or abandon such programs.
The membership body is engaging the SEC on a potential rulemaking fix as part of its campaign.
CII also elected a new board, with Aeisha Mastagni, portfolio manager at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, becoming chair.