SEC to give shareholders greater influence
US markets regulator, the Securities & Exchange Commission is planning on giving shareholders a greater say in corporate affairs, comments made by its chairman Harvey Pitt suggest.
Following the corporate scandals at Enron and WorldCom, to name just two, the SEC forced all CEOs and CFOs of listed companies to sign oaths of accounting honesty – a measure which was later incorporated in the controversial Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Yesterday, speaking at a conference organised by the Council of Institutional Investors in New York, Pitt said he would ask SEC’s director of corporation finance, Alan Beller to consider a proposal to eliminate the ‘ordinary business exemption’ which gives company boards the power to dump shareholder suggestions.
Pitt was reported in the FT as saying: ‘I strongly endorse the rights of shareholders to express their views.’