Investment Advisers

On August 21, by a vote of 3 to 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance on an investment adviser’s fiduciary duties with respect to voting of proxies for client accounts. The guidance makes clear that advisers may agree with their clients that the client, and not the adviser, will vote proxies, but such guidance is generally impractical for advisers to private funds and registered investment companies (because there is no practical way to assign voting power to the funds).
Continue Reading SEC Issues New Guidance Regarding Proxy Voting Responsibility of Investment Advisers and the Applicability of Proxy Rules to Proxy Voting Advice

ISS Releases 2018 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates

On November 16, the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) published its 2017 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates, which will be effective for shareholder meetings held on or after February 1, 2018. The US 2018 updates cover numerous policies, and significant changes are summarized below.
Continue Reading ISS and Glass Lewis Release 2018 Proxy Voting Guidelines

On November 18, Glass Lewis released its 2017 U.S. Proxy Season Guidelines. The guidelines are a detailed overview of the key policies Glass Lewis applies when analyzing individual companies and are formally updated on an annual basis.

One of the more significant changes to the Glass Lewis Guidelines is the director overboarding policy. Under this policy, Glass Lewis will generally recommend voting against a director who serves as an executive officer of any public company while serving on a total of more than two public company boards, and against any other director who serves on a total of more than five public company boards. Glass Lewis may consider factors such as the size and location of the other companies where the director serves on the board, the director’s board roles at the companies in question, whether or not the director serves on the board of any large privately held companies, the director’s tenure on the boards in question, and the director’s attendance record at all companies. Glass Lewis may refrain from recommending against certain directors if the company provides sufficient rationale for their continued board service.
Continue Reading Glass Lewis Releases 2017 Proxy Season Guidelines