Tag Archives | proxy access

BlackRock Inc: Proxy Score 59

BlackRock Inc

BlackRock Inc: Before You Vote Your Proxy

BlackRock Inc (NYSE:BLK) provides investment and risk management services to institutional and retail clients across the world. Its product offerings include single- and multi-asset class portfolios investing in equities, fixed income, alternatives and money market instruments..

Their annual meeting is coming up on May 25, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three fund families when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay plan, compensation committee, director with poor attendance; FOR Proxy Access, Report on Proxy Voting and Executive Compensation. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 59% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Continue Reading →

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Ellie Mae: Proxy Score 71

Ellie MaeEllie Mae Inc (NYSE:ELLI, $ELLI) is a provider of on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry in the United States. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 25, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of no fund families when I checked. Vote AGAINST Bonus Plan; FOR Proxy Access. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 71% of the time. View Proxy Statement via iiWisdom. Continue Reading →

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Goldman Sachs: Proxy Vote 50

Goldman Sachs

Lloyd Blankfein, combined Chair/CEO – smiling

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS, $GS) is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The annual meeting of Goldman Sachs is coming up on May 20, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two fund families when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, compensation committee; FOR all shareholder proposals. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 50% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

Graphic from Bidness: Goldman Sachs Group Inc Lloyd Blankfein Heads the List of Top-Paid CEOs. See also  SumOfUs campaign.

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Nextera Energy: Proxy Score 50

Nextera EnergyNextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE, $NEE) is an electric power company in North America with electric generating facilities located in over 30 states in the United States and approximately five provinces in Canada. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 19, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of one fund family when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, compensation committee, stock plan; FOR all shareholder proposals, especially proxy access. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 50% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Continue Reading →

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Proto Labs: Proxy Score 45

Proto LabsProto Labs Inc (NYSE:PRLB, $PRLB) is an online manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 19, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected no votes when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, stock plan, compensation committee members (Black, Gawlick, & Smith); Vote FOR my proxy access proposal. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 45% of the time. View Proxy Statement via iiWisdom. Continue Reading →

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UNP – Union Pacific: Proxy Score 47

UNPUNP – Union Pacific ($UNP), operates through its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 12, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, compensation committee; FOR both shareholder proposals: #4 execs to retain stock and #5 transition to an independent chair. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 47% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Continue Reading →

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Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc: Proxy Score 37

Chipotle Mexican Grill, IncChipotle Mexican Grill, Inc (NYSE:CMG, $CMG) develops and operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants, which serve a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 11, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of 2 funds when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, compensation committee, audit chair, fake management reforms; FOR all shareholder proposals, especially genuine proxy access. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 37% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Continue Reading →

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Kansas City Southern: Proxy Score 80

Kansas City SouthernKansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU, $KSU) is a transportation holding company with domestic and international rail operations in North America that are focused on the north/south freight corridor connecting commercial and industrial markets in the central United States with industrial cities in Mexico. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 5, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked. I voted AGAINST the pay plan and FOR genuine proxy access – voting with the Board’s recommendations 80% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Continue Reading →

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‘Substantial Implementation’ Will Backfire

Substantial Implementation Will Backfire

‘Substantial Implementation’ Defense for Proxy Access Lite Under (i)(10) Will Backfire for Corporate Boards

Substantial implementation, that’s the deception companies have been arguing in order to obtain ‘no-action’ relief under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(10) after implementing proxy access ‘lite.’ Law firms have been touting recent no-action letters released on February 12, with more in March  2016. It looks like a clear win for entrenched managers and directors for implementing only proxy access lite. In reality, such deception will cost companies more in legal fees and will reduce board discretion, since shareholders will increasingly file binding bylaw resolutions to obtain the same robust proxy access promised under vacated Rule 14a-8(i)(10). Continue Reading →

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Starbucks Corporation: SBUX Proxy Score 59

Starbucks CorporationStarbucks Corporation (SBUX, $SBUX) is the roaster, marketer and retailer of specialty coffee. Starbucks Corporation is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on March 23, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked. I voted AGAINST the pay package, bonus plan, members of the compensation committee and the proposal by the National Center for Public Policy Research. I voted FOR proxy access, the auditor and most of the Board. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 59% 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.

Starbucks Corporation: ISS Rating

From Yahoo! FinanceStarbucks Corporation’s ISS Governance QuickScore as of March 1, 2016 is 1.. The pillar scores are Audit: 1; Board: 9; Shareholder Rights: 1; Compensation: 1. Brought to us by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). Scores range from “1” (low governance risk) to “10” (higher governance risk). Each of the pillar scores for Audit, Board, Shareholder Rights and Compensation, are based on specific company disclosures. That gives us a quick idea of where to focus: Board. Continue Reading →

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iRobot Adopts Proxy Access: McRitchie Withdraws – Contest Looms

iRobot Adopts Proxy AccessiRobot adopts proxy access bylaws filed with SEC Form 8-K on March 9, 2016 (See Section 11). James McRitchie, publisher of Corporate Governance (CorpGov.net) conditioned withdrawal of his proposal for proxy access at iRobot (IRBT) on the amended bylaws, including several key elements meeting best practices as outlined by the Council of Institutional Investors.  Continue Reading →

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McRitchie Interview by Rafat: Whole Foods

McRitchie Interview by Rafat

McRitchie Interview by Rafat after Whole Foods Annual Meeting

McRitchie Interview by Rafat

McRitchie interview by Rafat. At last week’s meeting of Whole Foods Market shareholders, I met with Matthew (Mateo) Rafat, whom I’d known of because of his series of posts at Seeking Alpha. He was the only one reporting what happened at shareholder meetings. This was the first time we had met in-person.

Matthew Rafat and John Mackey at Whole Foods Meeting

Matthew Rafat & John Mackey

After the Whole Foods meeting, where my proxy access proposal received a 40% vote, Matthew and I grabbed a bite to eat. He then recorded the interview posted below. I’ve add some commentary below to make our discussion, especially my answers, a little more comprehensible.

We discussed issues of interest to many shareholders such as proxy access and how it differs from a proxy contest, why diversity is important, why shareholders submit precatory proposals rather than binding resolutions and a little about the rulemaking process. Continue Reading →

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Vote Real Proxy Access at Whole Foods

Real Proxy Access at Whole Foods - Give Us the Key

Real Proxy Access at Whole Foods – Give Us the Key (cartoon from old issue of Pensions & Investments)

Today is your last chance to vote for real proxy access at Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM, $WFM), unless you plan to attend the meeting in San Francisco tomorrow. The annual shareholder’s meeting will be held at the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, California 94108 and will begin at 8 a.m. See Pension funds line up in favor of proxy-access bylaw change at Whole Foods

If you do attend, please stop me and say hello. I would love to get your feedback on how shareholders can improve accountability through improved corporate governance. Whole Foods used to be one of the largest holdings in my portfolio. Back in October 2013 shares sold for about $65; today $35 seems to be the threshold to beat.

I used to head California’s cooperative development program, so had a lot of experience with struggling grocers and their co-op wholesale. I invested in Whole Foods Market because their model was something of a hybrid, with its emphasis on teams, employee ownership and organic foods. Let’s discuss how Whole Foods can get its groove back.

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Whole Foods Market (WFM): Proxy Score 82

Whole Foods Market (WFM)Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM, $WFM) is a retailer of natural and organic foods and grocer. WFM is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is on March 9, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of five funds when I checked. I voted FOR proxy access, pro-rata vesting of equities and a report on food waste. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 82% 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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Apple Inc. Proxy Score 47 – ‘For’ Proxy Access

Apple IncApple Inc. (AAPL) meeting on 2/26/2016 provides shareholders an opportunity to vote FOR real proxy access. Apple Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players to consumers, small and mid-sized businesses, education, and enterprise and government customers worldwide. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. I will attend the 2/26 meeting in person.

ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked. I voted against two directors and for proxy access, therefore with the Board’s recommendations 47% 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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