The SEC should scrap both of its recently proposed rules on proxy access and come up with something more balanced and acceptable to shareholders, Roel C. Campos, SEC commissioner, told a Council of Institutional Investors conference today in Coronado, Calif. Mr. Campos called the proposals “horrible” and “very bad,” adding that “investors dislike these proposals.”
Mr. Campos, who is resigning effective Sept. 30, thinks the SEC could vote on a proposal to allow proxy access to shareholders that hold 5% of a stock before his replacement is named. But he believes Christopher Cox, SEC chairman, out of concern for his legacy and relationship with the investment community, would not advance a vote that quickly.
In another address to CII attendees today, Stephen Hemsley, president and CEO of UnitedHealth Group, said the company’s board members established a plan to have a series of meetings with major shareholders this fall and winter to discuss setting executive compensation policies. They plan to explore philosophies and set appropriate measures of performance, accountability and executive compensation structure, he said.
UnitedHealth does not now support say-on-pay proposals, allowing shareholders a non-binding vote on executive pay. “We are open to dialog on any of these ideas,” Mr. Hemsley said. “We are thinking our outreach to shareholders should be an appropriate first step. We are just getting into the process right now and we will see how we proceed.”
UnitedHealth, which came under investigation and litigation for executive options backdating, has since put in place new leadership, including Mr. Hemsley, and plans to add five independent directors to its board in the next five years, he said.