Now that proxy season is finally winding down, I had a few minutes to take a quick glance at recent research reported on SSRN. Below I am simply including a few citations and abstracts of studies that might be useful for shareholder advocates in the U.S. I’m sure I included some that are strictly academic and missed many more that would be useful. I would welcome guest posts on such research from authors, critics or other interested parties. Please contact me via e-mail or by leaving comments below. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | Corporate Governance
The Deal Professor, Steven Davidoff Solomon, recently discussed voting rules aimed at fostering “long-termism” in his post, France Answers Hostile Bids With the Two-Vote Share. While less damaging than dual-class shares issued at the IPO stage that continue ad infinitum, importing such a scheme to the United States would reinforce the behavior of idiots. Continue Reading →
Watch Dr. Richard Leblanc talk about Proxy Access for boards and how it could be a corporate governance game-changer.
CCGC has endorsed proxy access. Dr. Richard LeBlanc discusses democracy in corporate governance. Proxy access is the corporate governance game changer. Business organizations have pushed back but some companies have voluntarily adopted it. “This is the right thing to do as far as corporate governance.” Continue Reading →
Good corporate governance means quicker, more frequent disclosures to the stock market. Or does it? The evidence varies by country, and in our research we wanted to check the relationship.
We used cross-country data from 23 OECD countries, firms with financial years ending between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2008. We looked at company announcement information from more than 2,000 different firms, and share prices relating to 5,800 different firms. Continue Reading →
I used to believe that democratic power was exercised like the creation of an impressionist masterpiece — each individual offering an artistically placed paint stroke that blends into the whole as you step back. As I have matured, I now see that those who are able to influence others around them are most effective in shaping the spirit of the painting. Power isn’t wielded by isolated individuals but by networks of individuals who are bonded by trust and influence. Continue Reading →
The State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS) is one of five state-funded retirement plans, serving 65 employers (public universities and colleges) and more than 227,000 members – both annuitants and active members. SURS provides retirement, survivor, disability and death benefits to its members and their families. Currently SURS employs 130 individuals at its Champaign and Naperville offices. Continue Reading →
It’s impossible to read a newspaper, magazine or blog, or watch the news without hearing about shareholder activism. It’s an industry unto itself with activist funds, attorneys who represent activists, activist defense lawyers, activist-focused investment bankers, activist conferences, activist newsletters, activist databases, and, of course, there are Messrs. Bebchuk and Lipton.
As a former institutional investor turned corporate governance author/advisor, I regularly get calls from media, and am cornered after speaking engagements to talk about activists. It’s arguable that no topic in recent memory has been discussed by so many in the presence of so few facts. It’s eerily reminiscent of when cloud computing first overtook the technology vernacular. You know, when 8 out of 10 people who were earnestly discussing moving to the cloud, cloud infrastructure and so forth, had no idea what the “cloud” actually was. Continue Reading →
#CartoonSunday is so popular among my friends in corporate governance (#corpgov) on Twitter that I thought I’d jump the gun and do a post on Animated Friday and corporate governance. Yes, I know, the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon I posted to the right has little to do with corporate governance… but it sure is cute. The next three videos are more on target. Continue Reading →
Ralph Ward brings nonprofit boards into focus. The nonprofit sector — education, charities, parastatals, co-ops, NGO’s, etc. — makes up a huge share of the world economy, and is a huge player in civil society. Yet, the board and governance tools needed to shape and monitor this nonprofit galaxy for too long have been under-studied and underserved. Continue Reading →
Engagement is, or should be, the common theme of our three videos. CalPERS argues it gives them a seat at the table. Professor Damodaran extols the importance of engagement as a possibility. As a shareholder, what avenues are open? In Davos, I think they looked through the wrong lens. Instead of engagement, they focused on an assumed end-goal that rules out other human values. Continue Reading →
Disclaimer: I’m sharing a few notes from Directors Forum 2015 held at San Diego University beginning 2/25/2015 and ending 2/27/2015. The Forum is held under the Chatham House Rule, so you won’t read any juicy tidbits here. However, I do hope to give readers some flavor of the topics discussed and a little on the general range of opinions. I have take slight liberties with the rule with regard to individual featured speakers, giving some sense of their talks without revealing the specifics of cases raised or providing quoted material of any substance.
Directors Forum 2015: Jeffrey C. Smith
Smith is managing member, CEO & chief investment officer, Starboard Value LP. Noted that Starboard’s rate of return has been 27.8% v average of 9% for S&P 500 over the same time-period. Only works at companies where he believes shareholders are disgruntled. Discussed various cases, such as Darden. (Darden Shakes Up Its Board After Agitation by Investor Starboard)
When they went in, Darden’s EBITA margin was significantly worse than peers when adjusting for real estate ownership and factoring in a rent subsidy. He wanted to get them more focused on a better return for capital than on growth. Continue Reading →
On January 12, 2015, Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance hosted a panel discussion called “The Rise of Controlled Corporations.” Unfortunately, this is one program at the Rock Center that I missed.
With Alibaba’s recent IPO on NYSE (instead of Hong Kong or China), the “one-share, one-vote” corporate governance standard has once again been challenged. Continue Reading →
On October 14, 2014, Stanford Law School’s Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance hosted the discussion “Corporate Inversions: Desertion or Value Maximization?”
Unfortunately, I missed this one but at least the Center caught it on video. Now we can watch at our leisure.
Thanks again to Authur and Toni Rembe Rock for a great Center.
Sign up today for the 10th anniversary, Directors Forum: Directors, Management & Shareholders in Dialogue, which brings together a unique blend of institutional investors, directors, management, regulators, consultants and contractors in an intimate setting designed for genuine access and interaction between speakers and attendees. January 25 – 27, 2015 in beautiful San Diego.
I attend several events each year that attempt to bring members of the corporate governance industrial complex together. This is definitely one of the best. I hope to see you there to discuss some of the most important issues in corporate governance.
Continue Reading →