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Companies Get Win Over Activists in SEC Proxy Adviser Crackdown

  • U.S. regulator approves new rules for ISS and Glass Lewis
  • Hedge funds and environmental groups have opposed changes
Updated on

U.S. companies scored a long-sought win Wednesday when the Securities and Exchange Commission approved new rules that are expected to make it harder for activist investors to push for changes in corporate strategy.

The main target of the SEC’s overhaul is firms such as Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co., which are paid by pension funds and other institutional investors to advise shareholders on how they should vote their stock. The companies -- known as proxy advisory firms -- have significant influence in whether activist campaigns succeed because investors often follow their recommendations in board elections.