Speech by SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro:Opening Statement at the SEC Open Meeting

by Chairman Mary L. Schapiro.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington, D.C.
August 25, 2010

Good Morning. This is an open meeting of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 25, 2010.

Today, we consider adopting rules that would allow shareholders access to a company’s proxy materials to include their nominees to the corporate board of directors.

As we discussed when the Commission proposed these rules last year, the concept that shareholders can directly participate in the director nomination process — without having to mount a proxy contest — has been debated for over 30 years. In fact, this is the fourth time in recent memory that the Commission has considered the question of amending our proxy rules to address so-called “proxy access.”

Some of the debate during the past has concerned whether the Commission has the authority to adopt these rules. That question was resolved last month, when Congress adopted and the President signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. That law confirms the Commission’s authority to act in this regard. Now it is time to resolve the issue of under what circumstances the Commission should adopt proxy access. (continue reading… )

Watch the video here.

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