Canadian securities regulators publish for comment guidance for proxy advisory firms


Montreal - The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published for comment draft Notice 25-201 relating to Guidance for Proxy Advisory Firms (Draft Notice).

"The CSA recognize that proxy advisory firms play an important role in advancing good corporate governance by facilitating institutional investors' ability to exercise their voting rights at shareholder meetings," said Bill Rice, Chair of the CSA and Chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission. "At the same time, we believe that providing proxy advisory firms with recommended practices and disclosure is appropriate to heighten transparency and maintain a high degree of confidence in the quality of the voting process."

On June 21, 2012, the CSA published for comment Consultation Paper 25-401 Potential Regulation of Proxy Advisory Firms. The Draft Notice is intended to address concerns raised in the consultation process by certain market participants related to conflicts of interest, transparency and accuracy.

The CSA is proposing a policy-based approach, providing guidance on recommended practices and disclosure for proxy advisory firms to promote transparency in the services they provide to clients and to foster an understanding among market participants about proxy advisory activities. The CSA is seeking feedback on the Draft Notice generally and on specific questions.

The Draft Notice is available on CSA members' websites. The comment period is open until June 23, 2014.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, coordinate and harmonize regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

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For more information:

Sylvain Théberge
Autorité des marchés financiers

Mark Dickey
Alberta Securities Commission

Richard Gilhooley
British Columbia Securities Commission

Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington
Ontario Securities Commission

Kevan Hannah
Manitoba Securities Commission

Wendy Connors-Beckett
Financial and Consumer Services Commission
New Brunswick

Tanya Wiltshire
Nova Scotia Securities Commission

Janice Callbeck
P.E.I. Securities Office
Office of the Attorney General

Don Boyles
Financial Services Regulation Div.
Newfoundland and Labrador

Rhonda Horte
Office of the Yukon Superintendent of Securities

Louis Arki
Nunavut Securities Office

Gary MacDougall
Northwest Territories Securities Office

Daniela Machuca
Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan