One new type of shareholder proposal this proxy season relates to the transparency of a company’s use of – and investment in – artificial intelligence, including how the company is managing any financial and “public welfare” risks related to AI. It has been reported that at least a half dozen companies have received this type of proposal so far.

And now Corp Fin has issued the first responses to requests made under Rule 14a-8 to exclude the proposals. In both cases, Corp Fin didn’t grant the relief. The companies primarily argued that the proposals should be excluded under Rule 14a-8(i)(7) since using AI is part of a company’s ordinary business. In both letters, the Staff noted that the proposals transcend ordinary business matters.

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Photo of Allison Handy Allison Handy

Allison Handy is the firmwide co-chair of the Corporate & Securities practice. Her extensive experience includes advising public and private companies in connection with corporate governance practices, disclosure issues, and capital markets transactions, such as equity offerings, debt offerings and tender offers. She…

Allison Handy is the firmwide co-chair of the Corporate & Securities practice. Her extensive experience includes advising public and private companies in connection with corporate governance practices, disclosure issues, and capital markets transactions, such as equity offerings, debt offerings and tender offers. She is also a leader of the firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance advisory team.

Allison provides counsel to companies on a broad range of issues faced by management and directors in connection with the many compliance aspects of securities laws, including governance rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and stock exchanges. She advises boards and committees in matters related to internal investigations and the efforts of shareholder activists, and works closely with in-house counsel, financial personnel, and outside auditors and advisors to help her clients prepare proxy statements and other reports to investors that meet complex disclosure obligations.