December 10, 2003

Symposium on Shareholder Access

  • Susan Dudley

    Director, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center
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Symposium on Shareholder Access

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed regulations that would affect the nominating process for directors of publicly-held companies (Security Holder Director Nominations) by providing greater access to the proxy process for nominating directors and requiring more disclosure.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University held a Symposium to discuss issues related to Shareholder Access. Shareholder activists joined academics and others to discuss what solid analysis, academic research, and real world experience reveal about the problem and the proposed solution. Wendy Gramm, Chairman of the Regulatory Studies Program, moderated the event.

Panel I - What is the Problem?

What is the problem and why does it exist? Does the SEC proposal on Security Holder Director Nominations address the problem adequately? Shareholder value and shareholder views -- do they always coincide, and will more corporate democracy enhance corporate value?

Panelists: Former SEC Commissioner and Stanford Law Professor Joe Grundfest, Nell Minow of The Corporate Library, Finance Professor Jonathan Karpoff of the University of Washington, and William Patterson, Director of the Office of Investment, AFL-CIO.

Panel 2 - What is the Solution

What will be the effect of the SEC proposal? How will smaller businesses and those with relatively few shareholders be affected? What do academic research, real world experience, and careful analysis reveal about the issue and potential solutions?

Panelists: Finance Professor Stuart Gillan of the University of Delaware, the Honorable Henrietta Holsman Fore, Director of the U.S. Mint and former Chairman and CEO of Holsman International, and James Melican, Executive Vice President of International Paper. This PDF contains the following information: Agenda Suggestions for Further Reading Summary of the SEC Rule Panelist Biographies