Subject: File Number: S7-22-19
From: Jane Burmeister

Feb. 1, 2020

February 1, 2020 

Vanessa Countryman 
Securities and Exchange Commission  
100 F Street NE  
Washington, DC 20549-1090  

Re: File No. S7-22-19: Amendments to Exemptions from the Proxy Rules for Proxy Voting Advice 

Dear Secretary Countryman: 

I am grateful that the Securities and Exchange Commission is soliciting comments from the public, including every day investors like me, on the topic of proxy advisor reform. I am certainly not a financial expert but do care deeply about my investments.  I am an elementary music teacher in the White Bear Lake School District in Minnesota.  Teachers work very hard and part of our compensation is a pension. As I approach retirement, I am most interested in a secure retirement and want my investments to be based on financial performance free from unwarranted political influence. 

According to news reports, Minnesota public employee pensions are among the ten worst-funded in the nation. In fact, the state’s public pension system has only 53 cents of every dollar promised to retirees like me. 

It does seem that the government could provide more oversight and stricter rules regarding proxy advisor firms, especially with respect to their political influence and conflicts of interest I have heard about. Whomever is in charge of my pension fund, I expect them to behave with the utmost transparency and fiduciary duty.  

I knew I would never be rich teaching elementary school, but I thought I could at least depend on a secure retirement. I thought neutral, responsible financial advisors working for the state would protect my pension and not be influenced or directed by a distant proxy advisory firm whose interests do not match mine. 

Thank you for providing greater oversight of these proxy advisors.  People like me cannot have financial futures put at risk. 


Jane Burmeister