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Shareholder Advocates Say New SEC Policy To Prompt Litigation, Less Transparency

Shareholder advocates worry the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's plan to be more selective in weighing in on corporations' requests to block shareholder resolutions could tip the scales in favor of companies, prompt more litigation and generally make the process less transparent.

"Without the agency’s routine written guidance, investors and companies will be in the position of having to guess the SEC’s position, with negative consequences for the entire process," Josh Zinner, CEO of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, said in a statement.

But SEC staff contends the move will enable the agency to proffer the kind of in-depth guidance for which shareholders, companies and trade groups have pressed.