WU Attempts to Block Genuine Proxy Access With Foil

The Shareholder Activist - WU Attempts to Block Genuine Proxy Access With FoilMaking Sense of Dodd-Frank reports that Western Union (WU) submitted a no-action letter to the SEC seeking exclusion of Norges Bank’s proposal pursuant to Rule 14a-8(i)(9) because the proposal directly conflicts with a proposal to be submitted by Western Union at the annual meeting.

While the bylaw proposal from Norges calls for a 1% threshold and 1 year holding for shareowner groups, management’s is for 5% held for three years. It does include groups but since those thresholds are substantially higher than those proposed by Norges, I would advise them to contest the no-action request.

I don’t think there would be any “confusion” if both items appear on the proxy. Whichever gets the most votes should be implemented.  I would hate to see proxy access follow the same script we have seen for special meeting proposals where it appears shareowners have to fight for every percentage point year after year.

To contact James McRitchie directly, please email jm@corpgov.net

Thank you for reading this investor activism blog. Please contact Info@TheShareholderActivist.com to request advice and recommendations on services and solutions to support corporate social responsibility and your shareholder activism. We also encourage you to submit your comments so that we can share your experiences with our growing community of shareholder activists.
Posted in Corporate Governance, Featured, Shareholder Policies & Investor Regulations, Shareholder Proposals | 2 Comments

2 Responses to WU Attempts to Block Genuine Proxy Access With Foil

  1. Are shareholders a group targeted for oppression by both management and government? At the risk of sounding paranoid, I am reminded of Joseph Heller’s astute observation in his novel, Catch-22: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

    Must we, as co-owners of America’s corporations, face both tougher and higher standards to get our points, needs, concerns, and voices heard? It’s always been an uphill battle for shareholders. And it most likely always will. “We are a lost people,” and we are generally taken for granted and considered “bothersome.” Facts of shareholder life.

    Indeed, we need saner rules of engagement on level playing fields. McRitchie’s disdain vis a vis the script for shareholders relative to both proxy access and special meeting proposals is warranted. Having to claw for every percentage point year after year does not “win friends and influence people” in any productive manner.

    A fundamental life rule goes something like this: sound relationships are built on mutual trust, mutual respect, and cooperative spirit.