Archive | March, 2011

Will the SEC Enforce Rule 14a-8?

The SEC has a reputation of enforcing regulations against two-bit players in the financial arena while tiptoeing around the big boys. Back in December, Apache Corp. (APA) announced plans to flaunt US securities laws. The Commission’s response has been three months of unbroken silence. Apache’s CEO, Stephen Farris, is somewhat of a crusader against Rule […]

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MoxyVote.com Adds Advocates

Right in the middle of proxy season, we are thrilled to welcome a few new Advocates on the site.  Here’s the rookie lineup straight from MoxyVote’s blog: Bill Davis is an independent shareholder activist who works to address corporate governance issues and increase shareholder involvement. Davis was recently nominated for a lifetime achievement award by […]

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SEC's Commissioner Luis Aguilar on Portfolio Data Reporting

Deregulated markets were instrumental in the misallocation of our country’s capital and other scarce resources, which resulted in trillions in mispriced assets, devastated the savings of American families, and resulted in painful levels of unemployment that persists to this day. Just as a few examples . . . American families who had saved for decades […]

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Aspirational Pay for CEOs

Goodyear CEO, Richard Kramer, saw a 69% rise in his annual compensation to $8.5 million in 2010, according to an Associated Press calculation from a regulatory filing. The company reversed a 2009 decision to freeze executive officers’ salaries, Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile, the largest US tire maker reported a loss of $216 million for 2010, which included […]

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Most Public Pensions Can Pay For 30 Years

March 29, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – While the recent recession hurt public pensions, they do not face an immediate liquidity crisis, according to a recent report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR). Using the most stringent framework, where assets and benefits earned to date are put in an “old” plan and normal […]

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Fix CEO Compensation by Broadening Incentive Pay

The defenders of executive compensation argue that senior executives make the most significant contribution to a company’s success; ergo, outsize compensation is justified. But the NBER Shared Capitalism Research Project has shown the opposite: Distributing rewards across the corporation—sharing them with workers—is the most efficient way of making businesses more successful. Motivated employees are more […]

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Airgas: More Reasons for Proxy Access

The Airgas situation demonstrates that continued investor engagement is needed in order to assert shareholder power in the hostile takeover setting. Popular perception holds that classified boards and poison pills are both in sharp decline, and there is some truth to this notion at large-cap US firms. However, nearly 90% of US firms have charter […]

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Kodak Agrees to Green Century Request for Political Transparency

Green Century Capital Management, Inc., a Boston-based investment adviser to the environmentally responsible Green Century Funds, announced that Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak) joins 79 other companies that have agreed to greater political transparency and accountability, according to the Center for Political Accountability (CPA). Kodak will provide increased transparency on its payments to trade associations and […]

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Ontario to Require ESG Disclosures of Pensions

The Canadian province of Ontario is scheduled to become the first in the country to oblige its pension plans to publish a Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP) and publicly state whether the SIPP takes ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues into account. The SIPP introduction could act as a major boost to the […]

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PhD Student Wanted to Research Uk Stewardship Code Implementation

Oxford Brookes University Business School wants to test the proposition that Shareowner Engagement is having an impact. They are looking for a PhD student to investigate the Stewardship Code, which “aims to enhance the quality of engagement between institutional investors and companies to help improve long-term returns to shareholders and the efficient exercise of governance […]

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How I Voted at Schlumberger

Schlumberger, one of the stocks in my portfolio of about 50 companies, has an Apr 06, 2011 Annual Meeting coming up. I’ve decided to vote early this time, since I’m in New Orleans and may be too busy to research much while there. I checked in with MoxyVote.com, ProxyDemocracy and OTPP. MoxyVote had no recommendations […]

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Proxy Season Foresight #3

The two big items on the governance proposals front this year, according to The Corporate Library are, management proposals: the advisory vote on executive compensation (SOP), and the advisory vote on the frequency of the advisory vote (SWOP) So far, only two companies have received majority votes against approval of executive pay, those at Jacobs […]

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Rising Concern about China

Public concern is growing about China’s increasing economic power, according to a new global poll conducted for BBC World Service. Negative views of China’s growing economic power rose–and are now in the majority–in France (up from 31% to 53%), in Canada (up from 37% to 55%), in Germany (up from 44% to 53%), in Italy […]

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Review: Risk Management and Corporate Governance

Risk Management and Corporate Governance: Interconnections in Law, Accounting and Tax by Marijn Van Daelen (Editor), Christoph Van Der Elst (Editor) After the recent financial crisis more and more pension and other funds are adjusting their portfolios for risk. This book offers a fascinating look at the juxtaposition of corporate governance and risk analysis. Bob […]

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SWOP Reaches Tipping Point

The debate over the best frequency for “say on pay” votes has reached a tipping point, as a majority of S&P 500 and Russell 3000 firms have urged their investors to support annual advisory votes on executive compensation. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, this year’s corporate proxy statements include a “say when” vote that […]

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CalPERS Airs Dirty Laundry: Reforms Promise New Day

Could CalPERS have avoided the current corruption scandal if, like CalSTRS, it had adopted a staff recommendation in 2007 requiring private equity firms to disclose fees paid to “placement agents” like Alfred Villalobos? A member of a small group that formed lasting relationships while serving with Villalobos on the CalPERS board during the 1990s, Kurato […]

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Taxes: Only for Little People & Little Companies?

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010. Articles in this series will examine efforts by businesses to lower their taxes and the debate over how to improve the tax system. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations […]

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Responsible Investor: Walden's ShareOwner Proposals

Shareowners recognize that with more than 100 members the Chamber’s board is effectively ungovernable, leaving the door wide open for management. There are board committees on different issues, such as the environment, but committees do not govern, they recommend… A company’s obligation to its shareowners also goes beyond disclosure. Companies also have an obligation to […]

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Starbucks tweets AGM: Holds Results

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) held its annual meeting in front of a 2000-strong crowd in its hometown Seattle yesterday – and if you weren’t able to be there in person you could tune in to a video webcast and live tweeting session to stay in the loop. via Starbucks tweets annual meeting, holds results | IR […]

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Effective Chair-CEO Relations

The number of U.S. companies that separate the chairman and CEO roles is at a historic high: 40% of the S&P 500 now separate the roles, up from 23% a decade ago, according to Spencer Stuart. Of the 40%, 19% may be classified as independent Chairs, up from 9% five years ago. A new report […]

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SHARE to Develop Best Practices on Human Rights

The Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE) is launching a two-year project aimed at developing tools to assist investors in ensuring their pension investments uphold the highest standards of human and labour rights. The Investing in Decent Work project will focus the challenges investors face in identifying and addressing issues related to the use […]

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EU Offers Prize for ESG Integration

The overall objective of this call for proposals is to enhance market reward for sustainable and socially responsible enterprises, so facilitating the transition towards a sustainable economy. The specific objective is to build the capacity of mainstream investment actors to better integrate environmental, social and governance information into their valuations of enterprises. This call for […]

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Corporate Governance and the Business Life Cycle

Corporate Governance and the Business Life Cycle (Corporate Governance in the New Global Economy), Igor Filatotchev (Editor) Most of the empirical literature on corporate governance is rooted in agency theory. While the principle-agent relationship and monitoring play a central role, governance is also concerned with entrepreneurship and contextual issues. The editor has chosen a good […]

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LinkedIn: Connecting to Profits

Social network LinkedIn has reached more than 100 million users and released some surprising facts, including which companies are most connected to the site… Dominic Jones says Campbell Soup is a standout. Here is an old-economy company among other most connected companies, which include Cisco, Amazon, eBay, Apple, Cisco and EMC. Venture Beat reportedon a […]

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Philippine BOVESPA, Race to the Top

The Philippine Stock Exchange Tuesday said it has secured the support of the International Finance Corp. to establish the Maharlika Board, a listing segment for companies to voluntarily commit to corporate governance practices beyond those required by law. The IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank, is helping the PSE set up the Maharlika […]

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Australia ‘Say on Pay’ Enhancements Too Radical

Shareholders of Australian public companies have been having their say on pay by law since 2005. The Australian Parliament is currently considering amendments to its say on pay rules that are aimed at increasing the impact on companies of significant shareholder votes against. The ‘two-strikes’ test is a key proposed change included in the Corporations […]

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Are High Paid CEO$ Looking for Acceptance?

People who feel more secure in receiving love and acceptance from others place less monetary value on their possessions, according to new research from Edward Lemay, assistant professor of psychology at UNH, and colleagues at Yale University. Lemay and his colleagues found that people who had heightened feelings of interpersonal security — a sense of […]

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Wanted: Tech-Savvy Directors

Corporate boards of directors should devote as much attention to IT matters as they do to accounting rules, but they rarely do, according to a report released earlier this month by the Deloitte Center for Corporate Governance. Today’s companies need “tech-savvy directors” who can make sure the IT strategy is aligned with the overall strategic […]

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Carl Rosen Supports Pan-European Code

Carl Rosen, executive director at the International Corporate Governance Network, told the Financial Times he would support a stewardship code setting out shareholder duties for all 27 member states. However, he suggested a pan-European approach to governance legislation is likely to face resistance from the UK, where the Financial Reporting Council issued its new Stewardship […]

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