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Fiduciary duties

Bankruptcy Law

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

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Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2016

Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate directors committed to a failed business strategy or unduly influenced by the company’s debtholders need a dissenting voice—they need shareholder nominees on the board. This article examines the bias, conflicts, and external factors that impact board decisions, particularly when a company faces financial distress. It challenges the conventional wisdom that debt disciplines management, and it suggests that, in certain circumstances, the company would benefit from having the shareholders’ perspective more actively represented on the board. To that end, the article proposes a bylaw that would give shareholders the ability to nominate directors upon the occurrence of predefined events. Such …