August 19, 2009
Harvard Law School Professor Lucian Bebchuk LL.M. ’80 S.J.D. ’84 submitted a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission calling for the adoption of a rule that would facilitate shareholder director nominations. The letter was signed by a bi-partisan group of 80 professors of law, business, economics, and finance, representing 47 universities around the U.S.
The proposed rule would enhance shareholder rights by reducing the barriers to replacing ineffective corporate directors. One key barrier is lack of access to the company’s proxy card – the corporate ballot sent by the company when a shareholder vote is required.
“We believe that providing shareholders with rights to place director candidates on the company’s proxy card, as the SEC proposes doing, would improve director accountability,” the letter states.
The letter comes at a time when the SEC is considering numerous proposals to improve corporate governance. HLS Professor Jesse Fried ’92 was also a signatory of the letter.