ConocoPhillips officials are urging the SEC to reject a proposal to allow shareholder access to the corporate proxy to nominate directors.
Meanwhile, two shareholder activists complain the rule as proposed would be too weak to have any meaningful impact.
Stephen F. Gates, senior vice president and general counsel at Houston-based ConocoPhillips — the only company so far to file a comment on the proposal of the Securities and Exchange Commission — contends direct shareholder access to corporate proxy statements would undercut the role of the board and its nominating committee, diminish board accountability to shareholders, and potentially promote self-serving agendas not necessarily in the best interest of a company or its shareholders.
Mr. Gates, writing on behalf of the company to the SEC, said the proposal "should not be implemented without careful analysis of all possible consequences."
"We encourage the SEC to … reject these proposals."
Comments on the proposal are due Dec. 22.