U.S. business titans are moving a step closer to winning a long fight to overhaul corporate voting rules that they say subject them to unfair shareholder campaigns.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is meeting Tuesday to propose changes that would rein in proxy advisory firms and make it easier for companies to block submissions from newer stockholders who don’t own many shares. Several investor advocates, pension fund managers and hedge funds have already signaled they’re concerned changes being contemplated by the SEC will weaken shareholder protections.

Key Insights
- The changes would increase the value of stock shareholders need to have before they can submit proposals if they haven’t been invested for three years, according to an SEC official who was authorized to speak on the matter.
- The agency also calls for increasing the level of support shareholders need to resubmit a proposal that had previously failed, the official said.
- In addition, proxy advisory firms would generally be required to share recommendations twice with management before shareholders could see them, according to the SEC official.
- Advisory firms would have to give a company as long as five days to review their advice and comment on it. Advisers would then have to show a final version to companies after making changes and allow managers two more days to prepare a response that would be delivered with the recommendation.

In August, SEC voted 3-2 to issue guidelines laying out fund managers’ responsibilities in dealing with so-called proxy-advisory firms and clarifying that those firms’ interactions with shareholders are generally covered by the agency’s rules.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.