T. Rowe Price Associates wants the SEC to make it harder for shareholders to access the corporate proxy ballot to nominate directors. T. Rowe Price suggests, among other recommendations, raising to 50% the amount of withheld votes cast for at least one director that would trigger the proposed shareholder nomination process. The SEC proposed 35% of votes would trigger the process.
"We believe that a 35% threshold is too low and could easily be met by a minority of shareholders in a 'just say no' campaign over any issue," Henry H. Hopkins, T. Rowe Price chief legal counsel, and Darrell N. Braman, associate legal counsel, wrote to the SEC.
T. Rowe Price also favors toughening another trigger for initiating shareholder nomination access, on votes for shareholder proposals, to 50% of votes outstanding from the SEC proposal of just 50% of votes cast in favor of a proposal. "This way, at least a majority of the company's shareholders have weighed in on the merits of the proposal," they wrote.
The SEC comment period ended Dec. 22.