By Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – All publicly traded companies should be required to give shareholders a way to influence the composition of their corporate boards, a top U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official said on Tuesday.

Luis Aguilar, one of five officials who decides on federal securities rules, said companies should not be given the option to opt out of potential rules being considered by his agency.

“It’s a slippery slope,” SEC Commissioner Aguilar told Reuters in an interview. Aguilar said giving companies such an option could lead to other exemptions.

“I have concerns,” he said.

The agency is expected to adopt rules aimed at giving shareholders an easier and cheaper way to nominate board directors — an issue also known as proxy access.

Although shareholders can nominate directors, they can only do so by waging a proxy fight that many contend is costly and burdensome.