The departure of Roel Campos from the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of two Democrats on the commission, could sidetrack a controversial proposal to give shareholders a greater say in electing directors, according to The Wall Street Journal. Campos, who is leaving the agency next month, voted in favor of the shareholder-friendly proposal, leaving the commission split on the issue. The controversial push “went from iffy to negligible with Campos”’ exit, said John Olson, a corporate governance lawyer with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher in Washington. Last month, the SEC approved two strikingly different proposals on the question of proxy access. Both were 3-2 votes with SEC Chairman Christopher Cox as the swing vote. One proposal, backed by the Republican commissioners and business, would allow companies to refuse any election-related shareholders proposals. The second proposal is supported by Democrats and would permit shareholders with 5% stakes to propose changing company rules in a way that would allow shareholders to nominate directors. Cox stated that he favors the proposal that would give shareholders access and that he wants the issue finalized by next year. There are other changes on the horizon at the SEC, as well. Commissioner Annette Nazareth’s term expired this year. Under the law, she is able to continue to serve as long as 18 months after her term expires. Commissioner Paul Atkins term expires next year. Luis Aguilar, a partner at Atlanta law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, is a possible candidate to replace Campos, according to people familiar with the situation. Other senators on the committee are reviewing potential candidates. The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.
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