Liberal groups see Dodd-Frank as shareholder opportunity

James CoplandLiberals are taking advantage of Dodd-Frank regulations by actively filing shareholder proposals on some Fortune 150 companies that are being tightly regulated, according to a new report.

James Copland, author of the report and the director of the Manhattan Institute’s center for legal policy, said that both liberal and conservative groups are filing new shareholder proposals in wake of Dodd-Frank although liberals are being much more active, reports.

“Clearly on the social policy proposals, they skew to the left,” Copland said, according to “The social investing funds are often out there pushing environmental causes, human rights causes, animal rights causes — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and others — but they’re not universally on the left.

“You have the Free Enterprise Action fund, for instance, filing proposals on companies that it thinks are being too left-wing."

For the past three years, 98 percent of all shareholder proposals filed with Fortune 150 companies were done by individual shareholder activists, labor union pension funds and social policy groups.

Dodd-Frank lets shareholders vote on executive compensation, although efforts to cut corporate management salaries remain unsuccessful. According to Copland, these efforts fail because most shareholders of the largest Fortune 150 companies are not driven by a political agenda, reports.

New regulations, however, in addition with ongoing corporate governance, continue to tie executives’ hands. This factor, combined with a growing power of special interest groups, may have a negative effect on the economy, Copland said.

“Well, it certainly doesn’t help,” Copland said, according to “And there’s lots of regulations that don’t help. At a minimum, [they] are taking management’s eye off the ball. It’s forcing management to address these types of issues” even when shareholder proposals fail.”

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