In a letter to President Donald Trump’s director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, a trade group chaired by executives like JP Morgan Chase & Co. chief executive Jamie Dimon and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson asked the administration to consider or reconsider 16 federal regulations, four of which concerned finance and corporate governance. According to at least one reporter following Trump’s Thursday meeting with corporate executives, the president will likely be on board with such proposals.
The list, from Business Roundtable, a trade group of chief executives of major American firms pushing for public policy more hospitable to their companies’ interests, stemmed from an internal survey of members “to identify recent regulations that are of most concern,” the letter, signed by Eastman Chemical Company CEO Mark Costa, who chairs the group’s committee on regulatory issues.
Read on for a list of the four financial rules Business Roundtable believes are in need of a makeover, and why the company leaders may want them altered or disposed of altogether.
Shareholder proposal process
First on the list is a suggested move not away from regulatory oversight, but toward it, as a means of tightening the leash on activist investors — shareholders who have increasingly striven to exert influence on the companies in which they hold stakes in recent years, often leading campaigns for the terminations of those companies’ CEOs.
“In too many cases, activist investors with insignificant stakes in public companies make shareholder proposals that pursue social or political agendas unrelated to the interests of the shareholders as a whole,” the letter stated, adding that Business Roundtable had previously encouraged the Securities and Exchange Commission to set more limits.
CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule
In August 2015, the SEC approved by a narrow 3-2 vote a rule requiring publicly-traded companies to disclose the ratio between CEOs’ annual salaries…