Morningstar Direct Uncovers ESG Hypocrites

Morningstar Direct Uncovers ESG Hypocrites

Morningstar Direct is planning to offer its clients important voting data. The firm recently published a preview of what I impolitely term ESG hypocrites – funds that advertise themselves as allowing us to invest in our values but then vote proxies against our values. For example, last week, students around the world participated in a massive […]

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Rulemaking Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes

Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes

Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes Abstract: Corporations have facilitated the most dynamic economic growth in history. Addressing adverse externalities, like dark money and climate change, has been hampered by dispersed ownership. Mechanisms are needed to define common values and increase individual empowerment within corporate dominated economies. Ironically, recent concentration of corporate ownership by […]

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Proxy Preview 2019 issue trends

Proxy Preview 2019: Better Every Year

Proxy Preview 2019 reveals intensified shareholder pressure on corporations across a wide range of ESG issues from climate and political spending to women. Investors with a conscience; we are having a bigger impact every year. Download the report and/or watch webinar here.  (more…)

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corporate lobbying

Corporate Lobbying Disclosure Proposals 2019

Corporate lobbying disclosure remains a pressing shareholder proposal topic for 2019. A coalition of at least 70 investors have filed proposals at 33 companies asking for disclosure reports that include federal and state lobbying payments, payments to trade associations and social welfare groups used for lobbying and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and […]

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Berry Global Group 2019

Berry Global Group 2019: Proxy Votes

Berry Global Group 2019 annual meeting is March 6, 2019. To enhance long-term shareholder value, vote AGAINST Carl Rickertsen, Thomas Salmon and Scott Ullem, as well as auditor, pay and 25% threshold for special meetings.  Vote FOR 1 year frequency for say on pay and for shareholder proposal to provide a 15% threshold for special […]

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Cyber security at Disney

Cyber Security at Disney: Vote FOR Report

Cyber security at Disney would benefit from clear links between senior executive performance metrics and compensation. Cyber security and data privacy are vitally important issues for Disney and should be integrated as appropriate into senior executive compensation to incentivize leadership to reduce needless risk, enhance financial performance, and increase accountability.  (more…)

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Apple 2019

Apple 2019: Proxy Vote Recommendations

The Apple 2019 annual meeting is March 1st. To enhance long-term shareholder value, vote AGAINST directors Levinson and Gore., as well as pay and the auditor. Vote FOR shareholder proposal #4 Proxy Access Amendments and against #5, which aims to set up an ideological litmus test for directors. (more…)

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Prison Labor - NorthStar Report

Prison Labor Fight at Costco: NorthStar Gathers Support

Prison Labor concerns raised again by NorthStar Asset Management won nearly 29% of shareholder votes at Costco Wholesale meeting on January 24, up from almost 5% last year.  The proposal asked for enhanced analysis and disclosure on risks related to prison labor in the company’s supply chain. Yes, if you just read that old link from a […]

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Shareholder Democracy Network on Drugs

Shareholder Democracy Network on Drugs

Drugs are being priced out of reach. The new web platform, Shareholder Democracy, will enable millions of Americans to “vote” on pending 2019 shareholder resolutions at six pharmaceutical companies. Shareholder Democracy Network and its drug-pricing ballot for stakeholders will be launched during a phone-based news conference at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on Tuesday (February […]

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participation would lead to higher growth rates.

Participation Needed to Restore Trust

Participation by every American family in the market and in corporate governance is needed to address growing inequality, sense of powerlessness and slowing growth rate. As long as 84% of corporate stock is owned and controlled by 10% of Americans, corporations will not be trusted; nor should they be. (more…)

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American Values

Internet Will Drive Public Opinion and Proxy Voting to Reflect American Values

American values were recognized as at risk in 1932 when Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means argued that with dispersed shareholders, ownership has been separated from their control. (The Modern Corporation and Private Property) Ironically, concentration of equities under the umbrella of three or four indexed funds presents an opportunity to end that divide and make companies […]

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Franklin Resources 2019 Attacks Shareholder Rights

Franklin Resources 2019 Attacks Shareholder Rights

Franklin Resources 2019 annual meeting is 2/12/2019. Shareholder rights are under attack. Vote AGAINST  Barker, Johnson, Pigott, Stein, and Waugh, as well as the auditor. Most important, vote AGAINST the Board’s attempted Ratification of a Substitute Special Meeting Amendment. Shields up! Vote to protect shareholder rights and enhance long-term shareholder value. (more…)

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Say.com Goes Live on Tesla

Say.com Goes Live on Tesla

Say.com goes live to help small shareholders have a greater voice in how the companies they’re invested in are run. Say facilitates proxy voting for shareholders who invest at the broker-dealers it is partnered with and also is creating new products for all shareholders to engage with companies, regardless of where they invest.  (more…)

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Real-Time Proxy Voting Disclosure - Image from Pensions & Investments

Real-Time Proxy Voting Disclosure Will Drive Competition

Real-time proxy voting disclosure by big funds could drive competition for investments from individual investors and smaller institutional investors with few resources for proxy analysis. Such disclosures would also go a long way in solving problems raised by Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Lucian Bebchuk, and the Main Street Investors Coalition regarding potential […]

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NAM Board Targeted

NAM: Stop Supporting ‘Main Street Investors’ Coalition Say Real Investors

NAM Board Targeted Investors led by Walden Asset Management, New York Common and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) called on 45 companies sitting on the Executive Committee and Board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to end the trade association’s attacks on shareholders. The investors’ letter asks the companies to distance themselves […]

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directors forum 2019

Directors Forum 2019

What follows are quick takes, with many incomplete sentences, from the recent Directors Forum 2019 held in San Diego. These are highlights from the notes of one participant, from my perspective as a shareholder advocate. If you attended, I am sure you have different takeaways. Please share them as comments. Like all Directors Forums, this one […]

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Second Annual Board Governance Research Report

Second Annual Board Governance Research Report

The second annual Board Governance Research report on Women on Boards of Companies Headquartered in California examines the current state of board gender diversity. California made history in 2018 by becoming the first state in the U.S. to require that public companies headquartered in the state have women on their boards. Last year’s report was cited in […]

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Index Funds - Jill Fisch

Jill Fisch: Index Funds Investors Can Switch

Jill Fisch, et al. addresses a central myth around index funds and investors in Passive Investors (June 29, 2018). Her research has implications applicable to recent analysis and recommendations by Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr., Professor Lucian Bebchuk and others.  The following is the central highlight: Our key insight is that although […]

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Big Three Index Funds - Bebchuk and Hirst

Big Three Index Funds: Bebchuk, Hirst and More

Lucian Bebchuk has given more thought to the issues surrounding the Big Three Index Funds than other researchers. He and Scott Hirst recently provide a “comprehensive theoretical, empirical, and policy analysis of index fund stewardship.” Reference also Strine: Big 4 Responsible to “Forced Capitalists,” as well as The Untenable Case for Keeping Investors in the Dark by […]

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Fitch ESG Relevance Scores

Fitch Links ESG to Credit Ratings

Fitch Ratings today announced the launch of a new integrated scoring system that shows how environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors impact individual credit rating decisions. On one side, the Main Street Investors Coalition believe investors must focus on maximizing financial return and management knows best. On the other side are those who want to broaden […]

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Do the opposite

Do the Opposite: Franklin Resources Plays George

Do the Opposite was funny in the sitcom Seinfeld but not so funny when Franklin Resources does the opposite of shareholder proposals. In fact, doing the opposite threatens the existence of even the facade of democratic corporate governance, alive since 1947 with the legal right of shareholders to file and vote on proposals. (more…)

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GPW 12-7-18

2018 GPW 10: Corporate Governance Impact

Global Proxy Watch (GPW) is terrific publication by Stephen Davis and Aaron Bernstein aimed at the corporate governance industrial complex. I read every word of every issue. It only runs a couple of pages, but it is jammed packed with news that cannot be found elsewhere. Here’s one article that took up about 1/4 of the […]

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Frozen Charters

Frozen Charters: Major CorpGov Issue

Thanks to Scott Hirst‘s articles and papers on the subject, I can borrow his catchy label for one of biggest current problems in corporate governance. Frozen charters are supermajority provisions that are impossible to repeal. He appears to attribute that to the 2012 change by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which changed its policies […]

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