October 16, 2010
A proposal for making proxy statements more accessible to shareholders:
Proxy statements, perhaps due to legal requirements to include specific language or cover particular points, have become so densely and obscurely worded that most people cannot make any sense of them. Toward that end, they are practically useless.
Short of changing the legal requirements for how they are written, I would like to suggest that a legally binding, summary statement, in clear, plain English, be required at the beginning of every proxy statement. The summary should be limited to a length of 5 pages, double spaced - so as not to be so daunting to read. If 5 pages isn't enough to summarize the contents, then the proxy statement is too long and should be shortened.
This might go a long way toward making proxy statements comprehensible, encouraging more people to read and understand them, and undoubtedly will result in greater participation in proxy voting.
Thank you for your consideration.