Will the Web Create a New Wave of Shareholder Activism?

News Brief

By Cydney Posner

Following is a link to a Wall Street Journal article discussing new shareholder-activism websites.  According to the article, networks are springing up online to rally investors behind shareholder proposals and candidates. The article reports that some of these proponents are perennial activists who believe that institutional investors have been "horribly negligent" in fulfilling their fiduciary duty because they "don't want to ruffle feathers" and they "want to manage—or to keep managing—the pension and 401(k) plans at the very companies whose stocks they invest in. These folks aren't going to throw bombs at board members." One frequent proponent of shareholder proposals used proxyexchange.org to download a form to submit proxy access proposals at a number of large companies. Some of the shareholder activist websites include Sharegate (not yet launched), United States Proxy Exchange, ProxyDemocracy.org and Moxy Vote. The sites allow shareholders to "circulate a throw-the-bums-out proposal… with the click of a mouse. Every other XYZ shareholder on the site will see it immediately; you will promptly be able to tell whether they agree with you."

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