* New rules force shareholders to vote for individuals
* Terms limited to 1 year
* Rules to take effect Dec. 31.
TORONTO, Oct 4 The Toronto Stock Exchange is
tightening standards for how boards at companies listed on its
markets are elected, introducing rules that will eliminate slate
voting and force directors to stand for election each year.
Exchange owner TMX Group said on Thursday the changes
are part an ongoing review of its markets' rule book. The
changes will come into effect on Dec. 31, and have been approved
by the Ontario Securities Commission, TMX said.
"These changes bring additional transparency to the board
selection process and help to strengthen our markets' reputation
while aligning our practices to other major international
jurisdictions," Kevin Cowan, president of TSX markets and group
head of equities, said in a statement.
Among the rules is a requirement that listed companies elect
directors individually, which will eliminate voting for a group
of directors, or a "slate", with one vote.
Forcing directors to face election each year means companies
will not be able to stagger their boards so that only part of
the board is elected each year.
The new rules will also require listed companies to publicly
disclose how many votes each director receives.
TMX also said it is seeking comment on amendments that would
force companies to adopt a majority voting policy for
uncontested director elections.
Under the current rules, shareholders can vote for a
candidate or to withhold their vote, but a candidate running
uncontested can win even if there are more votes withheld than
votes in favor.