New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, today issued the following statement regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) final vote on a shareholder rule:
“Today's action by the SEC will negatively impact investors and make it harder for shareholders to hold corporations accountable. These changes are unwanted by investors and may silence those challenging corporations to address issues like gender and racial pay equity, workplace diversity and racial discrimination.
“Shareholder proposals can result in corporate reforms that can create significant value for shareholders. While many corporations are tempted to focus on short-term profits, shareholder proposals, including those filed by the Fund, focus on creating long-term value by asking corporations to address various risks and opportunities. As a result, the Fund has long opposed rulemaking and federal legislation that would jeopardize the ability of shareholders to file proposals.
“The SEC should encourage engagement between shareholders and their companies, and allow full consideration of issues relevant to long-term shareholder value, not impede open discussion of ways to create value by addressing risks.”