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New call to rein in proxy advisers

A Quebec-based think tank is injecting a new burst of adrenalin into the debate about whether proxy advisory firms should be regulated in Canada, arguing they are foisting new corporate governance standards on companies without adequate evidence to prove their value.

Proxy advisory firms, which help institutional shareholders vote their proxies in annual board elections, have a “vested interest” in raising the bar of alleged good governance each year “to justify their continued employment,” argues a new report from the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations (IGOPP), which is a Montreal-based research institute jointly founded by Concordia University and HEC Montreal.