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The week of August 19 was a very busy one on two fronts. First, on August 19, the Business Roundtable issued a Statement on the Purpose of the Corporation, signed by the CEOs of 181 major American companies, saying that the purpose of the corporation is to act in the interests of all its stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, communities, and stockholders. In the few days since the issuance of the Statement, it has generated great interest and controversy, with some suggesting that it throws stockholders under the bus. At a minimum, the Statement represents a departure from the stockholder-centric model on which modern corporate America is based.

Two days later, on August 21, the SEC issued two interpretive releases “to assist investment advisers in fulfilling their proxy voting responsibilities.” The releases focus on the roles and responsibilities of proxy advisory firms and the extent to which their investment adviser clients can rely upon those firms in executing their duties to beneficiaries. Both releases seem likely to significantly impact the role of proxy advisory firms, including the processes they use to confirm the accuracy of the information cited in their reports and voting recommendations.

Further details on the proposals will be available shortly in The Securities Edge, our securities and corporate governance blog. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Gunster securities law and corporate governance practice leader Bob Lamm or Gus Schmidt.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 12 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With nearly 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.


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