On December 14, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission re-opened for 30 additional days the comment period for its proposed proxy access rules. Since the rules were proposed in May, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has been signaling that she expected the Commission to act on the rules in early January, making them effective for the 2010 proxy season. With the re-opening of the comment period, it now seems likely that the Commission will not take final action on the rules until March. That would mean that the rules would kick in for the 2011 proxy season for calendar year companies (perhaps sooner for non-calendar year companies). While final action may be delayed for the time being, new rules are likely, so public companies should be planning for them.
For more information on this subject, please see our article “Shareholder Access to Director Elections Changes Are Likely”, or contact Jeffrey P. Somers.