Author Archive | James McRitchie

Resolution: Report Public Policy on Climate Change

Climate Risk DisclosureRecently, with the revelations about Exxon’s past support for climate denial organizations hitting the news, there has been a fresh interest in the ways oil companies have used their lobbying and contributions to oppose climate change solutions. For example most oil companies are members of the Chamber and American Petroleum Association, which recently sued the EPA opposing its clean power plan. Their money and reputation line up working to block regulations that would reduce GHG emissions.   Continue Reading →

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Small Gains by Women in California Companies

Women in California Companies: 1 woman for every 7 men in top leadership at California's largest firmsWomen in California companies continue to make slight progress. More of California’s largest 400 public companies public companies than ever have women chief executive officers (CEOs), and fewer have no women in their C-suites and boardrooms. However, the annual University of California, Davis, study shows women still hold just one in eight of the senior executive and director positions in corporate California.

Overall, women hold 12.3% of the highest-paid executive positions and board seats in the state’s 400 largest public companies — a scant 0.75% point increase over last year, according to the UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders.

At that rate it will take fifty years for women in California companies to reach parity. I’ll be long dead. In the meantime, I’ll continue investing a disproportionate of my portfolio in companies with women at the top, betting such companies have better corporate governance and will outperform my other investments. Continue Reading →

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Comment: “Materiality,” File Reference No. 2015-300

Public Citizen circulates comment letter on materialityTake Action: Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen sent me the following draft sign-on comment letter to FASB/SEC regarding their concept release to redefine “materiality” from information that “could” be important to investors to information that “would” be considered important. If you agree with us that regulators shouldn’t be reducing the volume information that “could” be material, please contact Mr. Naylor at Let him know you want to join in the comment letter. Include your contact details and how you want to be referenced. 

December 6, 2015

Mary Jo White/Chair
James Schnurr/Office of Chief Accountant
Securities and Exchange Commission Members
Financial Accounting Standards Board Continue Reading →

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Challenges of Pension Fund Chiefs: #CIIFall2015

Council of Institutional InvestorsThis session was a transition between  and #CIIFall2015 conferences in Boston. Deborah Goldberg, the Treasurer of Massachusetts, provided the opening remarks. She was followed by a panel discussing the priorities and challenges of pension fund chiefs. Please feel free to point out any corrections, counterpoints and additional points using the site’s comment feature.
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Hain Celestial Group: How I Voted – Proxy Score 64

Hain CelestialHain Celestial Group Inc (HAIN) manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells organic and natural products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Europe.  Hain Celestial is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is on November 19, 2015. had collected the votes of two funds when I checked. I also checked CalSTRS, since their votes don’t seem to be posted at and I voted with the Board’s
recommendations 64% of the time. View Proxy StatementContinue Reading →

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Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Welcomes New CEO, Josh Zinner


Josh Zinner

Josh Zinner

ICCR’s Board of Directors announced that Josh Zinner will be assuming the role of ICCR’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 4th2016.

Josh Zinner comes to ICCR with 20 years’ experience as a non-profit leader, coalition-builder and policy advocate. For the past eight years Josh has co-directed the New Economy Project, an organization that works with community groups to promote economic justice – through policy advocacy, litigation, coalition building, shareholder action, community education, and research – and has been at the forefront both locally and nationally in the fight against discriminatory financial practices. Continue Reading →

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Cisco Systems: How I Voted – Proxy Score 50

ciscoCisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. Cisco is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is on November 19, 2015. had collected the votes of four funds when I checked. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 50% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value.  Continue Reading →

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Clorox: How I Voted – Proxy Score 100

cloroxThe Clorox Company (CLX) manufactures and markets consumer and professional products worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Cleaning, Household, Lifestyle, and International. Clorox is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is on November 18, 2015. had collected the votes of two funds when I checked. I voted with the Board’ recommendations 100% of the time. View Proxy StatementContinue Reading →

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ISS QuickScore Verification Due November 13

ISS QuickScoreMany readers refer to and rely on QuickScores issued by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). It is in our interest to have those scores calculated using the best available data. Issuers have until Friday, 11/13/2015, 8 pm ET to submit updates and corrections through the ISS verification process. New scores are expected to be released on 11/23/2015, and will then appear in ISS research reports available on profile pages at Yahoo! Finance and elsewhere.

The following is primarily based on a recent Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati alert (with similar advice coming from many law firms). I am in no way offering legal advice but am simply passing on information to help ensure ISS has the best available data possible.   Continue Reading →

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All In For Impact: Proxy Access and Advocacy to Thriveability

Proxy Access & AdvocacyAt the recent #AllInForImpact SRI Conference – on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing I presented a “Topic Table.” These are informal gatherings of up to 10 people during lunch. Topics are submitted prior to the conference by any registrant who wishes to lead a discussion on an issue related to sustainable, responsible, impact investing. Mine was on Proxy Access and Advocacy.

I started out with a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon depicting how many people see business today… run by narcissists, producing little of real value and looking to be subsidized. Continue Reading →

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2015 CPA-Zicklin Index Expands to Cover S&P 500

2015 CPA-Zicklin IndexMore of America’s largest publicly traded companies are bringing sunlight to their corporate expenditures on politics, the 2015 CPA-Zicklin Index of Political Disclosure and Accountability shows on the eve of a blockbuster election year for political spending.

For the first time, the 2015 CPA-Zicklin Index has been expanded to measure the transparency policies and practices of the entire S&P 500. The 2015 CPA-Zicklin Index reveals that: Continue Reading →

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Appleseed Fund: One of the All in For Impact Sponsors

Appleseed FundThe Appleseed Fund, a sponsor of the recent #AllinForImpact SRI Conference, leverages its role as a shareholder advocate to encourage boards and management teams to become more transparent and responsible with regard to ESG matters. They believe investors can have significant influence on the companies they own through informal engagement, proxy voting and submitting shareholder resolutions. Continue Reading →

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Video Friday: ICCR 2015 Event – On Leadership

ICCRLeadership transitions are the ideal time to think about what it means to lead.  What is the role of leadership in building the “just and sustainable corporate world” the ICCR community envisions in its mission statement? During an interactive panel on Oct. 1, 2015, five dynamic leaders explored the role of corporate responsibility and the capital markets through the lens of their own experiences as leaders in today’s marketplace. Continue Reading →

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