Archive | November, 2012

ISS Seeks Research Analyst

Research Analyst – Environmental & Social Issues Proxy Research based in Rockville, Maryland. Institutional Shareholder Services, an MSCI business, seeks to hire a full-time, permanent analyst to join its environmental and social proxy issues research team in Rockville, MD. The primary duties and responsibilities of the position are to conduct research, write reports, and make recommendations […]

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Video Friday: Women on Boards & Glass Ceilings

A range of videos on the subject. The most recent EU proposal sets out a 40% “objective,” with unspecified sanctions against companies flouting the rules. The proposals would require companies to have clear, gender-neutral criteria for choosing non-executive directors and that if candidates are found to be equally qualified, then preference should be given to women. As […]

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CalPERS Seeks Global Governance Investment Officers

Job Announcement: As the nation’s largest public pension fund, managing assets of $240 billion as of November 13, 2012, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is committed to a diverse work environment and culture centered on core values of quality, respect, integrity, openness, communication, balance, and accountability. We’re looking for talented, enthusiastic people who […]

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Shareholder Mix Campaigns or Effective Engagement?

Writing for Inside Investor Relations, Elizabeth Judd‘s article, The Perfect Shareholder Base, demonstrates a more sophisticated approach. Still, I think directors will find Douglas Y. Park’s advice, Shareholder Activism: A Thoughtful Approach for Effective Engagement a better approach. (more…)

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Elisse Walter to Head SEC

Obama chose SEC official Elisse Walter to lead agency after Mary Schapiro announced she is stepping down.  Walter is a Democrat on the SEC’s five-member panel. Her term expired June 5, 2012, but a commissioner can stay on for an additional 18 months if not reconfirmed or replaced before then–in her case December 2013. Obama expressed his “deep gratitude” to Schapiro […]

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Video Friday: Replace the Goldman Sachs Muppets

Goldman Sachs has come under fire for placing its interests above those of clients, lack of transparency and insensitivity  regarding its compensation practices. Goldman has been the target of numerous investigations, enforcement actions and private litigation. Key governance flaws include executive compensation and business practices that create financial and reputational risks. (more…)

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Thanksgiving Wishes

“Yes, the planet got destroyed. But for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders.” See the New Yorker cartoon. At least it hasn’t come to this… yet. Wishing you and yours a joyous and thoughtful Thanksgiving.

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Platforms and Vehicles for Institutional Co-­Investing

A growing number of institutional investors, persistent in their desire to disintermediate and align interests with asset managers, are turning away from Wall Street and are instead looking to one another for assistance. These direct investors are hoping to overcome the loss of agglomeration economies embedded within traditional financial centers by leveraging a new set […]

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Wal-Mart (WMT) to be Hit on Black Friday

As Black Friday nears, Wal-Mart ($WMT) workers and community supporters are beginning 1,000 nationwide non-violent protests leading up to and on Black Friday, including strikes, rallies, flash mobs, direct action and other efforts to inform customers about the illegal actions that Wal-Mart has been taking against its workers.  As part of the protests, Wal-Mart workers walked off […]

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Best Practices in Proxy Disclosure

Since 2004, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) has prepared best practices documents for reporting issuers to provide guidance on effective disclosure communication related to corporate governance and executive compensation. These documents have been (more…)

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NACD Focuses on Ombuds Programs

Last year I attended the NACD Directorship 100, proud to be listed again a worthy of being watched. This year, even though so honored, I won’t be able to make this important learning event. Learning event? Aren’t these functions mostly just networking opportunities? They are both. No one should question the value of such functions […]

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Proxy Access Regulations Revisited

Jill E. Fitch, a Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, argues the DC Circuit’s 2011 decision in Business Roundtable v. SEC, completely disregarded the congressional policy judgment reflected in Dodd-Frank’s authorization of proxy access regulations. (more…)

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ISS Updates Policies

ISS updated its proxy voting policies.  The most interesting to me is the “Board Response to Majority Supported Proposals.” The marketplace has been evolving in the matter of board responsiveness to majority-supported shareholder proposals, both in terms of institutional investors’ expectations, and in terms of the actual responsiveness by issuers. ISS’ 2012-2013 Policy Survey results show […]

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Women on Boards: EU Commission Proposes 40% Objective

Despite an intense public debate and some voluntary initiatives at national and European level, the situation has not changed significantly in recent years: an incremental average increase of the number of women on boards of just 0.6 percentage points per year has been recorded since 2003. It is for this reason that the Commission is […]

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Microsoft (MSFT): How I Voted – Proxy Score 92%

Microsoft ($MSFT) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 11/28/2012. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of six funds when I voted on 11/16/2012.  (The Table below doesn’t include the votes of Trillium.) I voted with management 92% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the […]

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Video Friday: Responsible Endowments Coalition

On February 15th, the Responsible Endowments Coalition honored Anuradha Mittal, the Executive Director of the Oakland Institute. Anuradha spoke about university investments in land grabs—the act of buying up vast tracts of land in poor countries that often result in environmental destruction and violations of human rights. (more…)

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PRI Publishes List of New and Delisted Signatories

The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative today published its annual list of signatories joining and leaving the initiative. In total, 254 new signatories joined the PRI between 12 September 2011 and 9 November 2012, bringing total signatory numbers to more than 1,100, drawn from 50 countries and managing assets of more than […]

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Support Petition to Disclose Corporate Political Spending

More than $6 billion was spent on this year’s presidential/congressional elections, too much of it by unknown sources. Are your companies opposing candidates you support or supporting those you oppose?  If so, do those contributions add to the value of your companies?  If they don’t disclose the expenditure, how would you ever know? Sick of […]

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NSFM Appoints Cary Krosinsky as First Executive Director

The Network for Sustainable Financial Markets is an International, non-partisan network of finance sector professionals, academics and others who have an active interest in long-term investing. The recurring crises recently experienced in our financial markets are not isolated incidents.  Rather, this instability is evidence that the financial market system is in need of well thought-out reform so […]

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Weinberg Center Announces Advisory Board

The John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the Lerner College of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware is announced a new Advisory Board for the Center. Charles Elson, Director of the Center and Edgar S. Woolard, Jr., Chair of Corporate Governance, said (more…)

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Trillium Asset Management LLC, on behalf of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, along with the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan recently filed a shareholder proposal with Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C, $C) asking the company’s board of directors to explore a possible separation of one or more of its business units. (more…)

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