Archive | August, 2013

2013 Millstein Forum: Beyond Shareholder Primacy

The following are cryptic notes and a few photos taken at the 2013 Millstein Forum held June 24 & 25 at Columbia Law School. Be sure to check out the Forum’s photo gallery.  Moderator: Harvey J. Goldschmid, Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Former Commissioner, Securities Exchange Commission. Panelists: (more…)

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2013 Millstein Forum: Dual-Class Structures, Pro and Con

Sorry to be late and abbreviated in getting out my coverage of this great forum. Be sure to check out the Forum’s photo gallery, which contains many more and much better shots than what I took between notes and conversations. The second panel discussed the growing issue of dual-class stock structures. While there was considerable […]

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Proxy Advisor Competition at Cisco OK'd by SEC

Mark Latham came up with a brilliant idea in the late 1980s: Shareowners should use their corporation’s funds to pay for external evaluations of governance and performance of the board and management. Shareowners would vote to choose among competing organizations to provide this service. It was a simple concept but SEC rules made subsequent proposals […]

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Norges Bank

Several nice articles appeared recently in the FT on Norges, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund with $760bn in assets. Sorry, I didn’t save the titles but links to three are here, here and here.  Well worth reading at the source. With assets worth twice Norway’s annual non-oil economic output and after quadrupling in size in eight […]

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Video Friday: SVDX Upcoming Event – Got Technology Chops?

If you don’t speak Geek, you’re not a competent director. Have you heard of “Big Data,” but aren’t sure what it really means (or how much it has to do with your industry)? Do you keep seeing articles about cyber-security, but couldn’t describe the difference between SQL-injection and a brute-force (hacking) attack, if your life […]

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Vote Splitting: Are We Moving to a Universal Proxy?

Years ago, the DC Court’s decision to vacate the SEC’s Rule 14a-11 had me thinking of possible approaches under Rule 14a-8 but also working around the whole access issue. With regard to short slates, I wavered between “field agents” attending annual meetings with “proxy assignments” to allow more wide-spread vote splitting to consideration of amendments […]

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Investor Forums

Inside Investor Relations (IR) had an important article on July 30th, On the Way to the Investor Forum that raised the question: do companies really want to encourage their shareholders to chat about them in online forums? Wouldn’t it create a lot of work for investor relations officers (IROs) “who are responsible for monitoring these online […]

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Video Friday: Wealth Inequality — Change the Rules

The richest 300 people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion. This is no accident; those in power write the rules. Together, we have the power to change those rules. Technology and the shift of global power mean that we can now demand our say in decisions that have traditionally been made […]

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Reeds, Inc. (REED): My 1st Attempt to Collaborate Through Sharegate

I’ve started to use Sharegate.com to network with other shareowners around specific companies. The first company I’m working on through Sharegate is Reeds (REED). I think our company’s product line is strong but management and the board appear to be weak in distribution skills. After years of refining and growing their fine products, #REED still is not profitable. […]

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Participate in the ISS Annual Policy Development Process

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.(ISS), a leading proxy advisor, kicked off its annual global policy formulation process in July 2013 by inviting institutional investors, corporate issuers, corporate directors and various other governance market constituents to participate in its 2014 proxy voting policy survey.  This year, the survey has been streamlined to encourage global market participants to […]

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Political $ Disclosures Turn Corner: Alliant Techsystems & CF Industries Holdings

At Alliant’s annual meeting on July 31st 65% of shares were voted in favor of the ICCR-sponsored proposal on increased transparency on company’s state and federal lobbying activities. That’s an exceptionally high vote for a shareholder-sponsored proposal, today investorsin Alliant Techsystems (ATK) an aerospace and defense contractor and gun manufacturer, voted in favor of a shareholder request for […]

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Two More Proxy Season Reviews

Two more reviews of the 2013 proxy season came out the other day. The quickest read is from Jackie Cook at CookESG (Proxy Season Roundup: Shareholder Resolutions) who analyzed 502 shareholder-sponsored resolutions voted between July 2012 and June 2013. Two-thirds are governance-related, averaging 41% support. One-third address social and environmental issues, with an average 21% level […]

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