Archive | January, 2014

Video Friday: Margaret Blair – Making The Hard Call: The Unheralded Role of Corporate Boards of Directors

The UBC Faculty of Law welcomed its fourth Fasken Martineau Visiting Senior Scholar, Professor Margaret Blair. Professor Blair is an economist who focuses on management law and finance. Her current research focuses on five areas: team production and the legal structure of business organizations, legal issues in the governance of supply chains, the role of […]

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Proxy Access is Needed at Apple

Despite the Apple Board’s best effort to obtain a “no-action” letter to exclude my proxy access proposal, it is included among the items to be voted on at or before the annual meeting to be held on February 28 at our Company’s principal executive offices in Cupertino, CA.  See Apple’s proxy, Proxy Proposal 11, ‘Proxy Access for […]

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Take Action: Join Nader's Penny Brigade

Some have argued that Ralph Nader started socially responsible shareholder activism with Campaign GM, when the group filed shareholder proposals to expand GM’s board to include consumer advocates and empower shareholders to place their board nominees on GM’s proxy ballot (proxy access).  According to a recent article in the WSJ, the longtime consumer advocate is now putting […]

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Review: Corporation Nation

Corporation Nation (Haney Foundation Series) by Robert E. Wright  delves into the history of the corporation, particularly in pre-Civil War United States (the antebellum period). Like the earlier reviewed Shareholder Democracies?: Corporate Governance in Britain and Ireland before 1850, Corporation Nation addresses central issues such as agency theory, democracy and public interest through the lens of history. Despite […]

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Technology at the Top, the Changes Made in the Boardroom

Guest post from Amanda Biggs, web manager and governance writer. By participating in the expansion of the Leading Boards portal for boards of directors, she has specialized on issues concerning the arrival of technology inside the boardroom. All through the last decade new technology solutions and tools have moved from being non-existent to becoming a […]

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The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

On January 14th I attended another great event at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance. It was a dialogue between Professor Dan Siciliano, Faculty Director of the Rock Center and Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. There was plenty of opportunity for audience participation… many getting in two questions. […]

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SEC-IAC to Meet January 31st

The Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Advisory Committee (SEC-IAC), established pursuant to Section 911 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, will hold a public meeting on Friday, January 31, 2014, in Multi-Purpose Room LL-006 at SEC headquarters, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The meeting will begin at […]

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Review: Handbook of Research on Promoting Women's Careers

The march of women into the upper echelon seems inevitable. A few points from the introduction: 60% of recent university graduates have been women, 50% of those graduating with advanced degrees in law and medicine, 1/3 of those with MBAs. There will be labor and skill shortages in all developed countries over the next two […]

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Investing in Women & Inalienable Rights: Part II

Yesterday, in Part I, I discussed the most recent UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: A Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers and how it led me to invest disproportionately in firms with more women CEOs and NEOs. Just how are women different than men and what kind of changes can we expect or […]

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Investing in Women & Inalienable Rights: Part I

Since starting this blog in 1995, I’ve pushed for greater diversity on boards and in named executive officers (NEOs). Progress has proceeded at a glacial pace, at least in the United States. For the ninth year, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, in partnership with Watermark, published the annual UC Davis Study of California […]

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Take Action: Support CII Rulemaking Petition for "Universal" Proxy

The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) filed a rulemaking petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asking that it amend its rules for contested elections so that “shareholders can vote for any combination of management and dissident nominees they wish to represent them.”  I hope readers will join with me in sending e-mails in support of […]

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Video Friday: Board Assessment

Dr. Richard Leblanc created this week’s video to discuss his board assessment tool that addresses a key deficiency in corporate governance: namely the review of board and individual director performance. Surveys show that many or most boards of directors self-review their own performance, and possibly the performance of individual directors, or do not do so […]

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Quick Bites on CorpGov

Don’t miss the following great reads: Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of The Value Alliance Activist shareholders’ top priorities for 2014. A must read for directors and shareowners alike. Here’s the first paragraph. Many of us free ride on actions taken by active, long-term shareholders. These unsung heroes goad managers and boards to reach better decisions, make available […]

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Gender Diversity: ICGN's Position

The International Corporate Governance Network sent comments to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). I think they warrant widespread reading and adoption. What follows are highlights from the OSC letter. Gender diversity is a competitiveness issue for a company as a whole and a critical dimension of governance, both in […]

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Reeds Inc (REED): Examining The Vote

As some readers noted, I put in more effort at Reeds Inc. (REED) than at many of my other holdings, proposing proxy access and writing about the problems at Reeds four times before the annual meeting, even doing a short video. My rationale is that while I am a small shareowner at both Apple and Reeds, […]

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Job: General Counsel at CalPERS

CalPERS is still recruiting to fill its vacant General Counsel position.  This is an exciting opportunity for a visionary in the legal profession to play a key role in a preeminent public pension fund.  Under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer, the General Counsel supports CalPERS in the management of a global portfolio of […]

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Job: Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Proxy Research Associate – San Francisco

As a member of Glass Lewis’ Environmental, Social & Governance Proxy Paper research team, you will analyze company filings, summarize their proposals, and offer voting recommendations to our clients–some of which include the world’s largest institutional investors. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the intricacies of the corporate structure, to research publicly-traded companies […]

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BNY Mellon & PNC Asked to Drop Lockout Meeting Policies: Take Action

Friends Fiduciary (FFC) took the lead advocate role in sending letters to BNY Mellon and PNC expressing concern over virtual-only shareholder meetings. Virtual-only shareholder meetings are widely criticized for limiting shareholder participation, and bylaw amendments by BNY Mellon and PNC signaled their intent to conduct virtual shareholder meetings exclusively. (more…)

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