November 11, 2011
On issues from sky-high executive compensation to big-bank bailouts, individual shareowners have unique credibility. We supposedly own the corporations and banks, but our authority to control them has been dismantled. We are working to fix that. Run by individual shareowners for individual shareowners, we are the United States Proxy Exchange. Join us.
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by Glyn A. Holton
On October 16, 2012, the USPX board of directors decided to temporarily suspend our operations. The suspension may last eighteen months to two years. The immediate cause is my own time limitations. Volunteering as executive director has consumed more of my time than we ever anticipated, and my consulting practice has suffered. During the suspension, I will focus on building back my practice. This is a personal economic need for me, but economic concerns often highlight bigger issues, and there is a bigger issue here. Since 2008, our membership has successfully engaged with corporations and advocated for reforms. We have addressed issues such as lockout annual meetings, proxy plumbing and executive compensation. But we have failed at the bigger goal of growing a movement. We created a decentralized organization with a wonderful social website, but this attracted few new members. Why? During the suspension, we will try to answer that question. I think a big part of the answer will be the complexity of the issues we confront. While many Americans agree there are enormous problems with corporate governance and the financial system, that isn't enough to convince them to learn arcane topics such as Rule 14a-8 or proxy solicitation rules. Despite all our hard work and the social website, we haven't found a solution to the challenge of education. At the end of the suspension, we will prepare a new business plan for the movement. Early discussions among board members suggest this will be sweeping. I know that a big component will be education.
During the suspension, only our centralized activities will cease. Members will continue with their individual efforts — submitting shareowner proposals, attending annual meetings and blogging — as before. The social website will remain up, but it will not accept new membership accounts. Current members can continue to use the site as they like, blogging and networking. I will continue to perform essential "maintenance" duties. As always, I will be available to chat with members and supporters. I will love to hear from you.
Thanks to everyone for your hard work. We will be back with a new plan and vision once the suspension ends.