Steil, Huizenga Urge SEC Chair to Maintain Proxy Advisory Firm Rules, Increase Transparency and Protect Investors

June 14, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— House Financial Services Committee member Bryan Steil (WI-01) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets Bill Huizenga (MI-02) urged U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler to revert his decision to reconsider recently finalized rules governing proxy voting advice firms. Read the letter here.

“Proxy advisory firms must operate transparently, make accurate recommendations, and remain free from undisclosed conflicts of interest. By stepping back from updated proxy advisory rules, the SEC jeopardizes these goals and hinders the ability to protect investors. I will continue working to protect proxy advisory firm reform in Congress and stand ready to work with the SEC to increase oversight and accountability of this industry,” said Steil.

“A small number of proxy advisors wield an enormous amount of influence over the elections within publicly traded companies. What new information does the SEC have that suddenly changes how it will conduct oversight of proxy advisory firms. It is critical that shareholders be made aware of any potential conflicts of interests these proxy advisory firms may have.  The focus of the advisory firm should be to maximize shareholder value and returns for shareholders not to align with activists to push political agendas. I look forward to hearing Chair Gensler’s rationale for this decision,” said Huizenga.

Last Congress, Steil introduced the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act which addresses many of the principles the SEC included in their final rule. Steil also led his colleagues in providing feedback to the SEC during the public comment period. 

Steil founded the Investing in Innovation Initiative, a project dedicated to promoting policies that strengthen capital markets and support a growing, dynamic economy that provides opportunity for all Americans. Co-founders of the Investing in Innovation Initiative include Reps. Ann Wagner (MO-02), Andy Barr (KY-06), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), and William Timmons (SC-04).

Steil is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and serves on the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets and the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance. Steil is also a member of the Fintech Task Force.

Read the letter to SEC Chair Gensler here.