Current attempts to reform financial markets presume that shareholder empowerment benefits shareholders. We investigate the wealth effects associated with the Securities and Exchange Commission's rule to facilitate director nominations by shareholders. Our results are not in line with shareholder empowerment creating value: The average daily abnormal returns surrounding events that increase (decrease) the probability of the proposal's passage are significantly negative (positive). Furthermore, given an increase in the probability of the proposal's passage, firms whose shareholders are more likely to use the rule to nominate directors experience more negative abnormal returns. © 2012 Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington.