The new regulation would limit faith-based investors’ ability to bring concerns to corporations
by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness (OPW) is calling on members of the church to speak out against a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would limit the power of small investors to file shareholder proposals and bring concerns to corporate managers and boards.
“The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) has been a driving force in shareholder advocacy and corporate engagement since the early 1970s,” the action alert from the Capitol Hill-based ministry reads, in part. “We use our power as shareholders in publicly-held corporations to bring issues and concerns to the forefront of companies. Our ability, as faith-based investors, to file shareholder proposals and hold corporations accountable for their actions is now being compromised.”
The Action Alert was crafted in collaboration with the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) through the Office of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement, which implements General Assembly policies on socially responsible investing by engaging with corporations in which the investing agencies of the church hold shares.
“As people of faith who invest in the marketplace, the ability to advance our values through shareholder advocacy is our compromise with the market,” says Rob Fohr, director of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement. “Due to these proposed rule changes, our ability to function within that compromise is being compromised.”
In the alert, OPW and MRTI pushed back against the notion that the rule is needed to insulate corporations from frivolous proposals.
“There are already robust rules in place guiding the shareholder proposal process that work well and keep frivolous proposals at bay,” the Action Alert states. “This is a blatant attempt to insulate companies from accountability to their shareholders.”
The Office of Public Witness and Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment are Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
You may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.
Categories: Advocacy & Social Justice, Responsible Investing
Tags: committee on mission responsibility through investment, compassion peace & justice, Office of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement, office of public witness, presbyterian mission agency, proposed securities and exchange commission rule, shareholder proposals
Tags: bring concerns to corporate, bring concerns to corporate managers, concerns to corporate managers, faith-based investing and corporate engagement, file shareholder proposals, file shareholder proposals and bring, investors to file shareholder, investors to file shareholder proposals, mission responsibility through investment, mission responsibility through investment mrti, office of public witness, proposals and bring concerns, proposed securities and exchange, proposed securities and exchange commission, responsibility through investment mrti, securities and exchange commission, securities and exchange commission rule, shareholder proposals and bring, shareholder proposals and bring concerns, small investors to file shareholder
Ministries: Compassion, Peace and Justice, Office of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement, Office of Public Witness