The Council of Institutional Investors urged SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro to give high priority to providing proxy access for shareholders to nominate directors and eliminating uninstructed broker votes in director elections.
In a letter to Ms. Schapiro released by the CII today, Jeff Mahoney, CII general counsel, cited the two recommendations in writing that the CII believes a critical element to reforming the regulatory system is improving corporate governance to ensure that long-term significant investors have the tools they need to more efficiently and effectively oversee corporate boards.
Also, the CII believes a necessary qualification of the SECs next chief accountant should be a deep understanding and appreciation for the needs of investors the primary consumers of financial reports, Mr. Mahoney wrote.
James L. Kroeker was named acting chief accountant in January. He had been deputy chief accountant in the office that establishes and enforces accounting and auditing policy to enhance the transparency and relevancy of financial reporting, according to an SEC statement.
The CII believes investor perspectives should be given pre-eminence in the development of financial accounting and reporting, and with a qualified investor or investor representative leading the Office of the Chief Accountant that goal is much more likely to be achieved.
SEC spokesman John D. Heine said he wouldnt comment on whether there has been any response by Ms. Schapiro.
The CII comprises some 140 public, union and corporate pension funds with combined assets of more than $3 trillion.