SEC Video Proxy Process

SEC Proxy Process Video 11-15-2018

SEC Proxy Process Video: November 15, 2018 In the interest of documenting important events in corporate governance, I am here bookmarking the SEC Proxy Process Video from November 15, 2018, for future reference. Read transcript by downloading the following pdf: SEC TranscriptShareholderProposalsRoundtable. SEC Proxy Process Video (Click to View) (more…)

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real Main Street Investors

Real Main Street Investors Endangered

Real Main Street Investors are NOT the members of a Coalition formed by the National Association of Manufacturers to buttress arguments made by the Business Roundtable and United States Chamber of Commerce. (see Main Street Investors: Battle Coming) In fact, real Main Street investors are an endangered species that may actually go away if the Coalition gets […]

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Small Shareholders

Small Shareholders Critical to Democracy

Some corporations and lobbying organizations claim small shareholders (Chevedden, McRitchie/Young, and the Steiners) submit 40% of proposals, most fail and we are forcing companies to waste money. Actually, small shareholders are critical to democracy.  This is an old complaint. A 1947 hearing on proxy rules before a House Committee charged shareholder proposal rules would provide a […]

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ESG assets Trend up

ESG Assets Surging but at Risk

US SIF study documents environmental, social, and governance — ESG assets — under management surging. ESG assets now account for one in every four investment dollars. Demand for ESG asset focus is coming from real people. In contrast, the Main Street Investors Coalition [funded by the National Association of Manufacturing (NAM)], insists on “maximizing performance ahead of […]

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Chevedden Group

Chevedden Group Proxy Proposals

For years, the “Chevedden group” (Chevedden, McRitchie/Young and Steiner) has focused almost exclusively on governance proposals. More democratic corporations are likely to listen to their shareholders on other issues as well.  Democracies facilitate voice and the exchange of ideas. Fighting for environmental and social issues, while extremely important, felt like addressing symptoms, rather than root […]

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Glass Lewis 2018 Proxy Advice Update

Glass Lewis 2018 Proxy Advice Update

Glass Lewis 2019 proxy advice updates address many issues. See 2019 Proxy Paper Guidelines: An Overview of the Glass Lewis Approach to Proxy Advice. I have reproduced much of the summary of changes below, leaving off the section discussing clarifying amendments. One that stands out for our small group of so-called ‘gadflies’ addresses our concern […]

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listing standards valuation-dual-class-firms

Listing Standards Requested by CII

Listing standards change sought by the Council of Institutional Investors (CII). CII filed petitions with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ, asking both to limit listings of companies with dual-class share structures. They have taken the right approach to address a growing problem. I hope it ends a worldwide race to the […]

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CSR Investments

CSR Investments May Someday Drive CalPERS

CSR investments may someday drive investments at CalPERS. That possibility is many years off but may a get start at the California State Retirees (CSR) Delegate Assembly, held October 22-23 in Sacramento. CSR is smaller than many of the unions representing currently employed public employees in California but our members vote. (more…)

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SEC Shareholder Proposal Panel

SEC Shareholder Proposal Panel – Take Action!

The November 15 SEC Roundtable on the Proxy Process will include me on the SEC Shareholder Proposal Panel. Public announcement with instructions for submitting comments. I will only have a few minutes at the Roundtable. What should I emphasize? Where should I stay in DC? Take Action: Readers of CorpGov.net know far more than I do. Please email your suggestions […]

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Salesforce CRM

Salesforce CRM Adopts Special Meetings

Salesforce CRM Adopts Special Meetings provision for shareholders with 15 Percent Shares. I am just circling back and can now ensure myself and readers that our 50.5% win on our 2017 proposal was implemented. See exhibit 3.1 and 3.2 of 8-K filing. We also expect to see action on our 2018 proposal to end supermajority […]

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LGBT Rights

SEC Jeopardizes Shareholders’ Fight for LGBT

LGBT rights are under fire at the SEC. Despite gains in the push for equality, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals still face significant discrimination and harassment in the workplace.  A 2017 survey by the Center for American Progress found that 25% of LGBT respondents reported experiencing discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity […]

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SB 826

SB 826: Sidley Austin LLP Update

SB 826 requires specified California-based public corporations to include women directors on their board. Sidley Austin LLP put out a bulletin on the topic. To ensure it receives widespread circulation, I am reproducing its main text below, with one minor change to break up an absurdly long sentence. (more…)

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David Webber & Doug Chia

David Webber Interviewed by Doug Chia: Video

David Webber was interviewed by Doug Chia recently. I previously reviewed Webber’s book elsewhere, Working-Class Shareholder: Review Essay, which included links to several interviews. However, Doug Chia’s interview of David Weber is exceptionally good, worth viewing. Douglas (Doug) Chia is executive director of the Governance Center for The Conference Board. (more…)

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Protect the Voice of Shareholders

Protect the Voice of Shareholders

Protect the Voice of Shareholders is the name of a new website created by Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) and the Council of Institutional Investors (CII). The educational website supports the current system, where institutional investors pay for and receive independent research and voting recommendations from proxy advisory firms for the public corporations in which they are owners. […]

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Main Street Investors

Main Street Investors: Battle Coming

The battle over Main Street Investors could determine the future of the American economy for decades to come. According to Cydney Posner of Cooley PubCo, on one side are those who believe investors must focus on maximizing financial return and management knows best. On the other side are those who want to broaden the focus […]

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Musk Steps Down

Musk Steps Down as Tesla Chairman

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Elon Musk, CEO and Chairman of Silicon Valley-based Tesla, Inc., has agreed to settle the securities fraud charge brought by the SEC against him last week. Musk has done with his tweets what shareholders have been unable to do. This year a proposal to require an independent […]

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Seventh Annual IRRCi Research Award

Seventh Annual IRRCi Research Award

The seventh annual IRRCi deadline for submissions draws near. The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) is accepting submissions for its seventh annual competition for research that examines the interaction between the real economy and investment theory. (more…)

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Judicial Independence

Judicial Independence: Conflicts

Judicial Independence: Conflicts of Interest was the primary focus of last week’s first Rock Center / SVDX program of the academic year. It was titled Condos on Lanai, Private Planes, and Electric Cars: Judicial Views of Purported Conflicts Among Silicon Valley Director. (more…)

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EllieMae Declassified Board

EllieMae Declassified Board

EllieMae Declassified Board. 8-K filing mentions the Board’s 2018 proposal but fails to mention my shareholder proposal in 2017, which won 87% of the vote and drove the Board’s 2018 proposal. Unfortunately, I am not as good at following up on implementation as I should be. This was brought to my attention thanks to a diligent […]

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FedEx 2018

FedEx 2018 Proxy Voting Guide

The FedEx 2018 annual meeting is September 24th. Vote AGAINST John A. Edwardson, Paul S. Walsh, Marvin R. Ellison, John C. (“Chris”) Inglis, Shirley Ann Jackson and Susan C. Schwabas, as well as the pay package. Vote FOR all three shareholder proposals. (more…)

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Dark Money

Dark Money: Will it Hurt State Farm?

Dark money risk is highlighted in recent fine. State Farm agreed to a $250 million settlement last week for $4 million in contributions it allegedly steered through conduits to Illinois State Supreme Court candidate Lloyd Karmeier. Where is the outrage over dark money? Said Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability (CPA). This case […]

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Shareholder Collaboration

Shareholder Collaboration

Shareholder Collaboration is a new ECGI working paper by Jill Fisch and Simone M. Sepe. Fisch is one of my favorite researchers, being insightful and less predictable than many of those in the primary academic hubs of corporate governance (Harvard, Stanford, and Delaware). In Shareholder Collaboration, the authors discuss the growing importance of a collaborative […]

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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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Virtual-Only Broadridge

Virtual-Only Shareholder Meetings: Anathema or Convenience? (Part I)

The first part of an in-depth look at Virtual-Only Shareholder Meetings, a new front in corporate-investor engagement. Scenario 1: In-Person Shareholder Meeting A shareholder proposal calling for the chairman’s resignation is coming up for vote at the physical annual meeting of Acme Inc. In the packed hall, a supporter of the proposal rises to her […]

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WDFC to Allow Special Meetings

WDFC to Allow Special Meetings

In June I submitted a proposal to WDFC to allow special meetings. WDFC to Allow Special Meetings: The Proposal Provide Right to Call Special Shareholder Meeting RESOLVED: The shareholders of WD-40 Company (‘WDFC’ or ‘Company’) hereby request the Board of Directors take the steps necessary to amend our bylaws and each appropriate governing document to […]

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September 13th SEC-IAC

September 13th Agenda for SEC-IAC

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the agenda for the September 13th meeting of its Investor Advisory Committee (SEC-IAC). The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room at SEC headquarters at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C., and is open to the public. The meeting will be webcast live and archived on the committee’s website for later […]

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Impact Investing - American Century Survey

Who Wants Impact Investing?

“Impact investing” – financial investments designed to generate a measurable, positive impact on society, while also providing potential returns – is growing in popularity, according to new research conducted by American Century Investments. The “appeal” of impact investing reached 49% among 2018 survey participants, compared to 38% in 2016. At 56%, Millennials find impact investing […]

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Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom

Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom?

The deceptive title of a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal would not keep politics out of the boardroom. Instead, the recommendations would deny shareholders the right to request boards disclose those politics, in addition to denying many other long-standing rights. Read the op-ed and weep that such trash gets published in the Journal. This […]

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