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) Continue Reading →
Archive | September, 2012
Time to step into the way back machine to see what we were writing about 5, 10 and 15 years ago. Five years ago @ Corporate Governance, I was pleading for readers to send comments to the SEC on their proxy access proposals. 30,000 letters wasn’t enough, in my opinion.
A shareholder proposal calling for a “say-on-pay” vote by shareowners on executive compensation at Activision Inc. (ATVI) filed by As You Sow received 69% of the vote at the company’s annual meeting held in Beverly Hills, California. This may be the highest vote result so far of about 50 say-on-pay proposals voted on by shareowners this year. Activision is a publisher of video games including Quake, Doom and Guitar Hero, and is currently all the news for its purchase of Bizarre Creations Ltd., the UK studio behind the popular Project Gotham Racing title. (Activision to Purchase U.K.’s Bizarre Creations, WSJ, 9/27/07) Conrad MacKerron, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Program at the As You Sow Foundation, criticized the company for providing outrageous perks like paying the mortgages, Medicare taxes, and even pet-sitting for executives. Continue Reading →
Guest post from Brooke Harrington, Associate professor, Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. The post was originally published as On the Limitations of Behavioral Finance at Economic Sociology, 10/31/2010. I found it to be as timely as ever. Continue Reading →
GMI Ratings signed a licensing agreement with Global Index Group to develop corporate governance indices. The new set of indices will incorporate non-traditional risk metrics developed by GMI Ratings. Continue Reading →
A Conversation With Marjorie Kelly & Chuck Collins. 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at the Unitarian Universalist Association, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA. To RSVP, email [email protected] or join the Facebook event. Continue Reading →
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.
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. Continue Reading →
On This Week in the Boardroom (TWIB) James Copland, Director & Senior Fellow with the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy, sits down with host, Scott Cutler, Executive Vice President, NYSE Euronext to review the results of Proxy Monitor 2012: A Report on Corporate Governance and Shareholder Activism. Continue Reading →
FedEx ($FDX) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 9/24/2012. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I voted on 9/18/2012. (A fifth fund is now reporting.) I voted with management 69% of the time. Continue Reading →
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 the first time on June 12, 2012 and the next full committee meeting is scheduled for September 28, 2012. Additional information on the committee. Continue Reading →
Fall is filing time for Responsible Wealth’s annual shareholder resolutions. Currently, Mike Lapham is working with the Center for Political Accountability to identify which corporations Responsible Wealth will file resolutions with. Continue Reading →
The Conflict, Social Action, and Change Division announces its 2013 Graduate Student Paper Competition. Students are encouraged to submit theoretical or empirical papers that address some aspect of the interrelation of conflict, social action, and change. Continue Reading →
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. Continue Reading →
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 that a recommendation by ISS can change the outcome of a vote by 15 to 20 percent, depending on the matter of the proposal. Continue Reading →
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 $150, signed by the artist, probably a better investment than most stocks. Simon Billenness, Consultant, Corporate Responsibility and Socially Responsible Investment, tells me:
I actually have two of these SEC trading cards! There were people distributing them outside Union Station last week.
GMI and Trucost announced a strategic partnership to incorporate Trucost environmental performance data into the GMI Analyst research platform. The agreement strengthens GMI’s existing governance analysis and will enable GMI clients – leading institutional investors, banks, insurers, auditors, regulators and corporations – to incorporate a measure of environmental risk alongside traditional financial metrics. Continue Reading →
Stratasys ($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 the time to carefully analyze this proxy. Therefore, I’m simply voting with CBIS. Continue Reading →
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, under the proposal. CBIS changed their vote after reading this post and talking to me (see ProxyDemocracy.org). Will your fund do the same? Continue Reading →
When a company’s name gets tarnished, should executives give up their positions on other boards to prevent reputation loss spreading? Lucy Marcus talks with Axel Threlfall. (photo from CSRwire Talkback) Continue Reading →
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 rigorous governance research and education and will serve as a Continue Reading →
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 the previous Continue Reading →
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. Continue Reading →
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) Continue Reading →