Kudos to Bob Lamm for picking up on news from ISS that not many folks caught when it was first announced, and non-members may not have seen when Liz blogged about it at the time on our Proxy Season Blog. It’s kind of big news too. Here’s an excerpt from Bob’s recent blog:
On November 2, the eve of what was arguably one of the most newsworthy if not significant elections in recent history, ISS snuck out an announcement that, effective January 2, 2021, it would no longer provide draft proxy voting reports to the S&P 500. Apparently, ISS – which has long been criticized for limiting the distribution of draft voting reports to the S&P 500 – has decided that the way to eliminate that criticism is not to send out draft reports at all.
Instead, ISS will send out proxy voting reports to its clients — i.e., investors — earlier and will send reports to all issuers at the same time at no cost. Thus (according to ISS), companies will have the time to provide feedback, and we’re assured that its “formal ‘Alert’ process” will enable companies to correct any errors and investors to change their votes.
The blog points out that ISS justified its decision to change its review process by noting that its purpose was originally to “help check the factual accuracy” of its reports. ISS says that it has invested heavily in enhancing the accuracy of its data, and that the review process isn’t being used as it intended. Instead, it has led to “lobbying” by companies against ISS’s recommendations. Wow, they must have been completely shocked that companies responded in that way, huh?
-John Jenkins, TheCorporateCounsel.net November 30, 2020
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