Trump Jump

Trump Jump: Disclose Political Expenses

The Trump Jump The Center for Political Accountability reported today on a Trump Jump. Mutual funds support for the CPA’s corporate political disclosure resolution jumped significantly in the first year of the Trump presidency. In 2017, support increased to 48% from 43% in 2016, according to an analysis by Fund Votes. The analysis also found that abstentions decreased […]

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Investor Response to Chamber - Don't Box Us In

Investor Response to Chamber: Don’t Gut Rights

Investor Response to Chamber: Letter Representatives of hundreds of investors with trillions of dollars in assets delivered a letter to the SEC on November 9, 2017, An Investor response to U.S. Chamber’s Proposal to Revise SEC Rule 14a-8 (report). We noted with interest the November 1, 2017, guidance contained in Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14I. […]

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CLX Clorox: You Don't have to vote with the Board

CLX: Vote Clorox Proxy Access

The Clorox Company, CLX, manufactures and markets consumer and professional products worldwide. It operates through four segments: Cleaning, Household, Lifestyle, and International. CLX opposes giving shareholders effective proxy access to enable us to place nominees on our company’s ballot. Shareholders have no right to act by written consent. It takes 25% of shareholders to call […]

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Standing Voting Instructions Ban Suppresses Retail Vote

Standing Voting Instructions: Reviewed

Standing Voting Instructions: Empowering the Excluded Retail Investor by Jill E Fisch just could be the most important article on corporate governance this year… if it is widely read and acted on. Download at ecgi, Penn Law or SSRN. The above photo is from Small Investors Support the Boards. But Few of Them Vote, The New York […]

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SLB 14I Discourages Shareholder Proposals

SLB 14I (CF) – SRI Conference: 1st Impression

SLB 14I (CF): Issued During 28th Annual SRI Conference The latest SEC Staff Legal Bulletin, SLB 14I (CF), was issued on November 1, while 800 attended the 28th Annual SRI Conference in San Diego. I was flipping though the agenda when I got an email from a Bloomberg reporter asking for feedback on SLB 14I, which […]

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Nicholas Donofrio & Nora Denzel - Culture as a Corporate Asset

Culture as a Corporate Asset

The NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Culture as a Corporate Asset identifies how boards can play an active role in shaping corporate culture to promote growth and avoid crisis. The NACD Northern California Chapter offered an inside look at the new 2017 Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Culture as a Corporate Asset. at its […]

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The Storm Before the Storm

The Storm Before the Storm: Reviewed

The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic by Mike Duncan reviewed from something of a corporate governance perspective. The final victory over Carthage in the Punic Wars led to rising economic inequality, dislocation of traditional ways of life, increasing political polarization, the breakdown of unspoken rules of political conduct, the […]

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Governance, Liquidity, and Employee Retention

Governance, Liquidity, and Employee Retention

Governance, Liquidity, and Employee Retention in an Era of Capital Abundance was the full title of last Thursday’s morning event sponsored by the Silicon Valley Directors Exchange and Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance. As billed, we were to hear  a panel of experts discuss the role of the board of directors in addressing challenges of […]

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Pearl Meyer on CEO Pay Ratios

Pearl Meyer on CEO Pay Ratios

Pearl Meyer on CEO Pay Ratios: Pay Transparency is the New Black Pearl Meyer on CEO pay ratios. The leading advisor to boards and senior management released its 2018 Looking Ahead to Executive Pay Practices survey but long before that, in May 2015, one of their principals declared Pay Transparency is the New Black. I guess […]

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Conoco Targeted by Sisters of St Francis

Conoco Virtual Only Meetings Targeted

Conoco’s virtual only annual meeting is the target of a shareholder proposal by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. A similar proposal was filed at Comcast. The Conoco resolution has already been cofiled by the Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust and the Needmor Fund, a Walden client. As responsible shareholders, we believe good corporate governance […]

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Disney Ties to Pat Robertson

Disney Ties to Pat Robertson Need Clarified

Disney ties to Pat Robertson could lead to further gun violence if not clarified. Nancy Levine wrote a post that demands attention from Disney shareholders. Where Is Disney’s Outrage About Pat Robertson? Pat Robertson’s Outlandish Blame Game As Levine notes, Pat Robertson blamed the Los Vegas massacre on Americans’ disrespect for Donald Trump. Among the things Robertson said, (more…)

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William Steiner and son Kenneth Steiner

William Steiner, Shareholder Activist

William Steiner recently became the most experienced shareholder activist alive to win majority votes for shareholder proposals at public companies. A few months ago, he celebrated 40 years of shareholder activism with an overwhelming victory at Haemonetics Corporation (HAE). The following is based on an interview with Mr. Steiner by his son, Kenneth Steiner, who […]

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General Counsel Corporate Culture Influencer

General Counsel: Corporate Culture Influencer

Corporate Culture Influencer On September 11, 2017, the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance hosted a discussion on the role of the general counsel and how she should be a positive corporate culture influencer. The Center has been working with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) to examine this issue in light of ACC’s recent […]

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moskowitz-research-prize

Moskowitz Winner: CSR & Executive Compensation

Moskowitz Prize Winner Announced Moskowitz prize winner for 2017 was announced today by the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with The SRI Conference. The prize is named after research pioneer Milt Moskowitz, one of the first researchers to look for the connection between good corporate […]

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The Ascendancy of Finance

Ascendancy of Finance – Reviewed

The Ascendancy of Finance (link) by Joseph Vogl, explains the dramatic transfer of power to  the financial sector that occurred over centuries but accelerated during the recent financial crisis. Traditionally, markets limited state power and were, in turn, restrained by the nation states. As Vogel notes, “In this theoretical myth, spaces of freedom are weighed against concerns […]

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Center for Political Accountability

Center for Political Accountability: Video Friday

Since 2003, the Center for Political Accountability (CPA) has spearheaded disclosure and accountability in corporate political spending. Corporations are the top political spenders at the state and local level. They are a dominant force in shaping public policy. Next proxy season, I will join the Center for Political Accountability in filing proposals on this important topic. […]

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Climate Competency

CII: Climate Competency & Risk

Shifting Investor Perspectives on Climate Risk & Board Climate Competency These notes on climate competency are my last post from the Council of Institutional Investors Fall 2017 conference.  Find more at #CIIFall2017.  As a member of the press, I was excluded from the policy-making meetings. Still, it was a great opportunity to touch base with members […]

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IRRCi Research Award Winners

IRRCi Research Award Submissions Due

IRRCi Research Award Submission Deadline is October 6, 2017. Two categories: Practitioner and Academic. Winners to Receive $10,000 each and get to present at the 2107 influential Columbia University Millstein Center Forum. The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) is accepting submissions through October 6, 2017, for its sixth annual competition for research that examines the interaction […]

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Index Providers Speak

CII: Index Providers Speak

Index Providers Speak: Policy Process and Voting Rights Index providers spoke at #CIIFall2017 about how they develop their policies. Specifically, they discussed recent developments around voting rights. Index Providers Represented Annalisa Barrett, Clinical Professor of Finance at the University of San Diego (Moderator) David Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee, S&P Dow Jones Pavlo Taranenko, Executive Director, Index […]

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Richard Bookstaber

CII: Richard Bookstaber – Dynamic Risk Models

Richard Bookstaber: Human Complexity and the Financial Markets Richard Bookstaber discusses value at risk modeling — easily the most illuminating talk at #CIIFall2017. It was certainly statistics aimed at the layperson. However, in listening to him, I was glad I completed by PhD comprehensive in statistics 35 years ago.  I scribbled a few notes. Although I can’t […]

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William Hinman, Director of SEC's Division of Corporation Finance

CII: William Hinmam Interviewed

Keynote Interview: William Hinman of the SEC William Hinman, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, was interviewed by CII Co-Chair Gregory Smith, Executive Director, Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association at #CIIFall2017, I scribbled a few notes. As you can well imagine for someone speaking from such a sensitive position, there were no bombshell announcements. However, it […]

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Reeds, Inc independent board?

Reeds, Inc Wants Democratic-Free Zone

Reeds, Inc fights to deepen its a democratic-free zone through dilutions to strengthen the grip of insiders and by opposing proxy access. They are headed for private control, while keeping the company public. Last year, the founder picked a new board. Is it really independent? Reed’s, Inc (REED) develops, manufactures, markets, and sells natural non-alcoholic […]

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FedEx Fights

FedEx Fights Proxy Access, Lobbying Disclosure

FedEx Fights for a democratic-free zone @ 9/25/2017  annual meeting. Seeks to maintain fake proxy access; refuses to disclose lobbying payments; wants to continue to monitor say-on-pay vote to lobby those who vote against; wants to disrespect human rights where allowed by state laws. FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services worldwide.  FedEx is […]

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CII - Public Companies Endangered

CII: Public Companies Endangered Species?

Public Companies Endangered Species: CII Panel Are public companies an endangered species? If so, why? How can we solve that problem? At last week’s Council of Institutional Investors (CII) Fall Conference there as an informative panel discussion entitled Public Companies: An Endangered Species? Panelists were David Brown, Michael Mauboussin, and Robert McCooey moderated by the always erudite and entertaining Frank Partnoy, one of the […]

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5050 Climate Project: Key Climate Vote Survey 2017

Key Climate Vote Survey Provides Tool

The 50/50 Climate Project released their Key Climate Vote Survey 2017 (link) of votes by America’s largest investors. Those attending last week’s informative Fall Conference of the Council of Institutional Investors in San Diego found out about it and many other newsworthy items. Key Climate Vote Survey 2017: Groundbreaking Season? First-time approval of climate risk proposals at Exxon (XOM) […]

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CalPERS Watch Dogs Flaherman and Brown

Elect Flaherman and Brown to CalPERS

Keep CalPERS healthy; vote for Flaherman and Brown. Ballots have been mailed out to more than 1.5 million CalPERS members. They must be received by October 2nd to count. This is probably the most important election the $333B+ System has ever held, given how the board isolated and ostracized current director J. J. Jelincic for […]

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The CEO Pay Machine (cover)

CEO Pay Machine Destroying America

The CEO Pay Machine: How it Trashes America and How to Stop it (Amazon) by Steven Clifford should be mandatory reading for all compensation committees and those who vote proxies for large funds. The book is easily read and understood by the layperson. It also includes the fact-based evidence needed to convince fiduciaries that voting against […]

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How to Think

How to Think: Reviewed

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds (buy), by Alan Jacobs, is not directly about corporate governance. It is more about learning more from your engagements with those who do not share your views. Corporate Governance (#corpgov on Twitter) has not been immune from incivility. How to Think could help us […]

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related party transaction

Related Party Transaction Rejected

Related Party Transaction Defeated at India-Based Raymond According to a recent report by InGovern, primarily focused on India, Raymond, in its AGM on 5th June, proposed a contentious related party transaction where it wanted to sell one of its prime properties to its Chairman and some of his relatives. As bad as things have gotten […]

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Shareholder Society Offer More Rational Solution to Chamber's Issues

Shareholder Society Better Chamber Mantra

A shareholder society appears to have no place in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC) severely flawed paper on shareholder proposal reform. The paper is intended to contain a “set of recommendations for the SEC on fixing the broken Rule 14a-8 system in order to protect investors and make the public company […]

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