How Will Changes to Proxy Access and Broker Voting Rules Impact Activist Hedge Fund Investors?

Recent decisions and proposals by the SEC may influence the actions and strategies employed by activist investors.  The activist’s world has long been shaped by a number of barriers, including the broker vote and the inability for shareholders to directly access the corporate ballot, that have made many corporate elections less than democratic.  These new regulatory changes may ultimately “level the playing field” and lead to more communication between boards and activists.  In a guest article, Steven Balet, Senior Managing Director at Okapi Partners LLC, a specialized strategic proxy solicitation and investor response firm, discusses the recent decisions and proposals, and some of their potential effects on activist investment strategies.  Among other things, Balet’s discussion includes a detailed analysis of changes to the broker voting and proxy access rules.

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