Tag Archives | ISS

Apple Adopts Proxy Access Lite

Apple Adopts Proxy AccessAs reported by the Wall Street Journal (Apple Offers Proxy Accessand the Financial Times (Campaigners hail Apple shareholder move), Apple adopts proxy access. Yes, that’s progress, but we shouldn’t be gushing in praise over proxy access lite.

See Apple bylaws, pages 18-26, 5.15 Proxy Access for Director Nominations. Compare with the Council of Institutional Investors’ (CII) Best Practices.

Scott Stringer, New York City comptroller, called the Apple decision a

tipping point… Corporate resistance to proxy access is crumbling as more and more boards are coming to the table and working with investors to provide greater accountability that will drive long-term value.

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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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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. ProxyDemocracy.org 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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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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ISS: Vote Against Directors Adopting Lite Proxy Access

Vote Against Directors

Vote Against Directors Adopting Lite

ISS’s 2015-2016 global voting policy survey indicate investors are prepared to vote against directors at companies that ignore shareholders wishes and adopt proxy access mechanisms with overly burdensome ownership requirements.

An overwhelming majority of investors said ISS should issue negative director recommendations if a shareholder proposal to provide proxy access receives majority support and a board adopts proxy access with material restrictions not contained in the shareholder proposal. 90% said an against or withhold vote in a director election would be warranted if a provision had an ownership threshold in excess of 5% or an ownership duration in excess of three years. From the ISS press releaseContinue Reading →

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Procter & Gamble: How I Voted – Proxy Score 56

Procter & GambleProcter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) provides consumer packaged goods and is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their next annual meeting is October 13, 2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked and voted. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 56% of the time. View Proxy Statement

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

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ISS Proxy Voting Survey Due Friday at 5:00 pm ET

ISS Proxy Voting Survey - Hall of Mirrors

ISS Proxy Voting Survey – Hall of Mirrors

Attention everyone who thinks ISS has too much say over how proxies are voted. It might be a good time for you to see how those policies are actually developed. No, ISS doesn’t develop its policies by reviewing all the academic research to determine which types of proxy proposals create value or are correlated with value creation (Do ISS Voting Recommendations Create Shareholder Value?David F. Larcker, Brian Tayan) Instead, the ISS proxy voting survey essentially asks subscribers to tell ISS how it should advise their subscribers to vote.

When I first heard about this years ago, it felt like looking down a never ending hall of mirrors. You ask me how shareholders should vote; then, when voting time comes, you remind me what I said. Of course, not all ISS clients will have anything to say about every issue and a large number probably do not have the staff to be researching proxy voting issues and policies. It is a little like one of those Lost on the Moon exercises you may have taken in one of your classes on group dynamics. In most cases, the group will be smarter than the individual participants. The same principles apply in creating a proxy voting policy.  Continue Reading →

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Ocata Therapeutics: How I Voted – Proxy Score 37

Ocata TherapeuticsOcata Therapeutics Inc (NASD:OCAT), formerly Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a promising biotechnology company engaged in the development and commercialization of human pluripotent stem cell technology in the field of regenerative medicine. The company is one of the stocks in my portfolio, purchased about a year ago. Their next annual meeting is July 22, 2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had nothing on the company when I checked and voted on 7/16/2015. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 37.5% of the time and assigned them a proxy score of 37.5.

View Proxy Statement. Would it bust their budget to add a hyperlinked table of contents? Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Ocata Therapeutics proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value.   Continue Reading →

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LinkedIn Corporation: Proxy Score 17

LinkedIn CorporationLinkedIn Corporation (LNKD), together with its subsidiaries, operates an online professional network worldwide. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 6/3/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of two funds when I checked and voted on 5/28/2015.  I voted with management 17% of the time and assigned LinkedIn Corporation a proxy score of 17.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the LinkedIn Corporation 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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PDL BioPharma: Proxy Score 40

PDL BioPharmaPDL BioPharma Inc (NASD:PDLI), one of the stocks in my portfolio, manages a portfolio of patents and royalty assets in the United States and Europe. The company is involved in the humanization of monoclonal antibodies and the discovery of a new generation of targeted treatments for cancer and immunologic diseases. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/28/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of one fund when I checked on 5/19/2015. I voted with Board recommendations 40% of the time. Continue Reading →

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Home Depot: Proxy Score 79

Home DepotHome Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), one of the stocks in my portfolio, sells a wide assortment of building materials, home improvement products and lawn and garden products and provides a number of services. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/21/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of four funds when I checked and voted on 5/14/2015. I voted with management 79% of the time and assigned Home Depot a proxy score of 79.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Home Depot 2015 proxy to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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American Tower: Proxy Score 60

American TowerAmerican Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT), one of the stocks in my portfolio, operates and develops wireless and broadcast communications real estate with a portfolio of over 87,000 communications sites. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/20/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of one fund when I checked and voted on 5/13/2015. I voted with management 60% of the time and assigned American Tower a proxy score of 60. Continue Reading →

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3D Systems Corporation – Proxy Score 67

3D Systems3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. The Company is a provider of three-dimensional (3D) printing centric solutions. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/19/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of 0 funds when I checked and voted on 5/10/2015. I voted with management 67% of the time and assigned 3D Systems a proxy score of 67.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the 3D Systems 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Union Pacific Corporation: Proxy Score 50

Union PacificUnion Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Union Pacific is primarily a railroad operator. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/14/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of two funds when I checked and voted on 5/7/2015. I voted with management 50% of the time and assigned Union Pacific a proxy score of 50.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Union Pacific 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): Proxy Score 24

Chipotle Mexican GrillChipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Chipotle Mexican Grill develops and operates fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants throughout the U.S., which serve a focused menu of healthy burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads. The company also has restaurants in Canada, England, France and Germany. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/13/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of four funds when I checked and voted on 5/6/2015. I voted with management 24% of the time and assigned Chipotle Mexican Grill a proxy score of 24. Continue Reading →

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