Archive | September, 2012

Video Friday: Activism Needs Carrots and Sticks

Sep 19 2012  Bob Monks, founder of GMI, thinks far too few owners participated in the shareholder spring. To promote activism, fiduciaries should be paid but should also be held to account. We should be unequivocal and make clear that society requires effective ownership, he says.  (4m 29sec) (more…)

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A New Strategy to Fight Citizens United

Guest post from Kent Greenfield. Author, ‘The Myth of Choice’; law professor at Boston College. This article is adapted from a more substantial essay in the Fall 2012 issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and appeared previously on Huffington Post, 9/15/2012. We progressives have been in quite a tizzy about Citizens United, especially now that 2012 election cycle is swamped with […]

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What Does it Take to Get More Women on Boards?

Maybe they’re showing us the way down under. A joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Company Directors) offers scholarships to women on the boards of Not for Profit organizations that receive State Government funding to undertake corporate governance training provided by Company Directors. (more…)

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SEC's IAC Seeks Input for Agenda

The Dodd-Frank Act established the Investor Advisory Committee (IAC) to advise the Securities and Exchange Commission on regulatory priorities, the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, fee structures, the effectiveness of disclosure, and on initiatives to protect investor interests and to promote investor confidence and the integrity of the securities marketplace. The IAC met for […]

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Notable CorpGov Bites

Four articles worth reading are linked below. ProxyMonitor.org, a website sponsored by the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy, sheds light on the influence of outside shareholder proposals on publicly traded corporations. Their slant is fairly obvious in their latest Proxy Monitor Report, Fall 2012, but the data is worth reviewing. (more…)

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Video Friday: Larcker on ISS

Many institutional investors rely on a proxy advisory firm to assist them in voting the company proxy and fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to vote in the interest of beneficial shareholders. The largest and most influential proxy advisory firm is Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). The recommendations of ISS are not inconsequential. Academic and professional research suggests […]

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Trading Cards

I’m on vacation but here’s part of Broc Romanek‘s post from yesterday on SEC Trading Commissioner Cards and a great cartoon by Hank Blaustein, which you can buy from Grant’s Interest Rate Observer for $150, signed by the artist, probably a better investment than most stocks.  Simon Billenness, Consultant, Corporate Responsibility and Socially Responsible Investment, […]

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GMI Incorporates Trucost Data into Analyst Platform

GMI and Trucost announced a strategic partnership to incorporate Trucost environmental performance data into the GMI Analyst research platform. The agreement strengthens GMI’s existing governance analysis and will enable GMI clients – leading institutional investors, banks, insurers, auditors, regulators and corporations – to incorporate a measure of environmental risk alongside traditional financial metrics. (more…)

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Stratasys (SSYS): How I Voted

Stratasys ($SSYS) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. A special meeting of their shareowners is coming up on 9/14/2012. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of 2 funds when I voted on 9/12/2012.  I voted with management 33% of the time. Frankly, I’ve been busy at conferences and have now left on vacation. I don’t want to take […]

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ISS Should Reconsider Their Analysis of H&R Block Proxy Access Proposal

The influential proxy analyst, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), recommends voting against Kenneth Steiner’s proxy access proposal at H&R Block (HRB) on 9/13 because it “could undermine the efforts of larger, long-term shareholders whose interests might better reflect those of the broader shareholder base.” Their logic appears flawed. Larger, longer-term shareowners would gain rights, not lose them, […]

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Donna Dabney Heads The Conference Board's Governance Center

The Conference Board today announced that Donna Dabney has joined The Conference Board as Executive Director of the Governance Center. In this new role, Ms. Dabney will lead a team that will explore restoring trust in public corporations, identifying sustainable corporate governance policies and understanding global governance issues. The Governance Center will continue to sponsor […]

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H&R Block: I Voted for Proxy Access

H&R Block ($HRB) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 9/13/2012. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I voted on 9/5/2012.  I voted with management 40% of the time but in complete alignment with CalSTRS. I generally vote against pay packages where NEOs were paid above median in […]

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Alert: Cyberonics (CYBX)

Cyberonics, Inc.’s stock has gained since the neurological device maker announced earnings growth in the three months ended July 27. But, according to GMIRatings, results may reflect a view through rose colored glasses.   (more…)

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Proxy Advisors Often Ignored: Yet, Concerns Continue

FT.com reported, contrary to many perceptions, that investors in the UK’s largest companies often ignored the guidance of proxy advisers when voting on pay issues. After votes at WPP, Xstrata and Prudential, some company executives complained that advisers carried too much influence. (Investors not tied to proxy advisers, 8/26/2012) (more…)

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