Verret Addresses Hill Hearing on Corporate Governance After Citizens United

Professor J.W. Verret testified at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises March 11 on Capitol Hill.

The purpose of the hearing was to examine corporate governance issues and the need for legislative reforms in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. The subcommittee is currently considering legislative proposals aimed at enhancing transparency on corporate campaign spending, containing corporate political activities, and increasing shareholder participation in the electioneering decisions of public companies.

Discussing H.R. 4537, the "Shareholder Protection Act of 2010", Verret told subcommittee members, "Today’s bill has absolutely nothing to do with reforming financial regulation in response to the financial crisis, and is indeed a distraction from that vital work. It is a power grab by union pensions funds and state elected treasurers in an attempt to enhance their leverage over the retirement savings of ordinary Americans. To call today’s bill a 'Shareholder Protection Act' is fundamentally misleading.”

Appearing along with Verret at the hearing were Professor John C. Coffee, Jr., of Columbia Law School; Karl J. Sandstrom of Perkins Coie; Ann Yerger, Executive Director of the Council of Institutional Investors; Nell Minnow, Editor and Co-Founder of The Corporate Library; Professor Michael Klausner of Stanford Law School; and Jan Baran of Wiley Rein LLP.