WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved, on a divided vote, changes making it easier for shareholders to nominate directors of public companies. The changes were long sought by investor advocates and opposed by business interests.
The vote by the SEC at a public meeting today was 3-2, with the two Republican commissioners opposed. The proposal drew protests from the nation’s biggest business lobby.
It will allow groups that own at least 3 percent of a company’s stock to put their nominees for board seats on the annual proxy ballot sent to all shareholders.
Getting candidates on the board gives supporters a better shot at influencing company policy. It will be in place in time for next spring’s corporate elections season.