I don’t think we’ve gone back in time all year… too busy with proxy season. Join us as Mr. Peabody and Sherman prepare to go back in time to visit corpgov.net 5, 10 and 15 years ago. Yes, many links are broken. The world and the internet move on… still, it is worth a few minutes to reflect on where we’ve been.
Archive | July, 2015
The US SIF Foundation’s Center for Sustainable Investment Education will provide a training on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investment. The classroom training will be held at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO on Tuesday, November 3 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM followed by lunch from 1:00 – 1:30 PM. This training will be held immediately before the SRI Conference. Continue Reading →
Received for Review – Corporate Concinnity in the Boardroom: 10 Imperatives to Drive High Performing Companies
“ . . .a really important book about how to maximize the performance of companies and provides rare, clear common sense guidance for Boards of Directors that is worth its weight in gold.” –Hap Klopp, Founder and former CEO, The North Face, author, lecturer, serial entrepreneur
Nothing should be more important than building exceptional, sustainable leadership teams, effective governance platforms, and a strategy to make them work well together. According to her publisher, forward-thinking board members, C-suite executives, family business owners, and investors who are committed to excellence and continuous improvement in governance will be well served by embracing the framework that advisor Nancy Falls outlines in her new book Corporate Concinnity in the Boardroom: 10 Imperatives to Drive High Performing Companies. Continue Reading →
What a mouthfull. The 2015 National Conference in Chicago, 6/24-27, was my first time attending one of their events. Even though I’ve been blogging about corporate governance for almost 20 years, I didn’t know what they call themselves? SCSGP? Even that is a mouthful; without vowels how would I pronounce it? Maybe “Corporate Secretaries?” It turned out to be just the “Society.” Like Modonna, Yanni, Sher, Twiggy, Enya, Charo, Bono and Voltaire, only one name is needed. All those other societies will have to come up with other options to avoid confusion. Continue Reading →
An opportunity – Calvin Quek is looking to hire a Sustainable Finance Campaigner for the Beijing office of Greenpeace. Let’s help him find the best candidate for this opportunity by passing the word on to people in our networks.
The role: This person will be responsible for engaging the investment and financial communities towards helping China achieve a more environmental sustainable future. They will be working closely with Calvin, leveraging the extensive contacts Greenpeace already has in the community. Continue Reading →
In an e-mail response to an inquiry from Ron Freund, shareholder and Corporate Responsibility Director for the Social Equity Group, a leading Bay area socially responsible money management firm, Twitte (NYSE:TWTR) announced it has posted political contributions on its website and will not contribute to Super PACs. Continue Reading →
Petmed Express Inc (NASD:PETS), a promising pet pharmacy doing business as 1-800-PetMeds, is one of the stocks in my portfolio added earlier this year. Their next annual meeting is June 27, 2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of one fund when I checked and voted on 7/20/2014. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 78% of the time and assigned them a proxy score of 78. View Proxy Statement. Would it bust their budget to add a hyperlinked table of contents?
Ocata Therapeutics Inc (NASD:OCAT), formerly Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a promising biotechnology company engaged in the development and commercialization of human pluripotent stem cell technology in the field of regenerative medicine. The company is one of the stocks in my portfolio, purchased about a year ago. Their next annual meeting is July 22, 2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had nothing on the company when I checked and voted on 7/16/2015. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 37.5% of the time and assigned them a proxy score of 37.5.
View Proxy Statement. Would it bust their budget to add a hyperlinked table of contents? Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Ocata Therapeutics proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →
I stumbled on an interesting series of videos from the Investment Company Institute, which bills itself as “a leading global association of regulated funds, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), closed-end funds, and unit investment trusts (UITs) in the United States and similar funds offered to investors in jurisdictions worldwide.”
Of course these funds have a tremendous impact on corporate governance. As one of the primary industry voices for the financial sector, the Investment Company Institute has tremendous clout, so these videos are well worth monitoring for anyone interested in corporate governance developments.
Below are just a few examples to whet your appetite. Continue Reading →
At the beginning of June, I submitted a standard 3/3/25 proxy access proposal to Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR). Like Whole Foods Market (WFM) and H&R Block (HRB), Broadridge also preempted the shareholder’s meeting by adopting a lighter version of proxy access. As I did at the other two firms, I declared victory at Broadridge and withdrew my proposal. Continue Reading →
Now that proxy season is finally winding down, I had a few minutes to take a quick glance at recent research reported on SSRN. Below I am simply including a few citations and abstracts of studies I might find useful in my own activities as a shareholder advocate in the US. I’m sure I included some that are strictly academic and missed many more that would be useful. I would welcome guest posts on such research from authors, critics or other interested parties. Please contact me via e-mail for by leaving comments below. I would welcome guest posts on such research from authors, critics or other interested parties. Please contact me via e-mail or by leaving comments below. Part 1; Part 2. Continue Reading →
Join Occupy the SEC in Urging the President and the Senate to Appoint a Progressive as SEC Commissioner. Click here to send your message. My message was generated from California, thus the addressees.
July 11, 2015
Dear President Obama:
Dear Senator Boxer:
Dear Senator Feinstein:
Petition for Progressive SEC Nominations
Sustainability innovation is powering business growth, according to a new research report. Between 2010 and 2013, revenues from company-defined portfolios of sustainable products and services grew by 91% among the companies examined in the report. For S&P Global 100 companies that break out revenue for sustainable products or services separately, that revenue stream grew at six times the rate of overall company results. Continue Reading →
In response to proxy access proposals filed this year, both Whole Foods Market (WFM) and H&R Block (HRB) have adopted proxy access. While I had filed standard proposals seeking the ability of shareholders with 3% of shares held for 3 years to be able to nominate up to 25% of the board, both companies adopted bylaws allowing nominations only up to 20% and limiting nominating groups to 20, whereas my proposals had no such restrictions on the number of participants in nominating groups. Continue Reading →
Take Action: Comment on SEC’s Rule 14a-8(i)(9) Review
As proxy season draws to an end, managers, boards and their legal advisors are calling on the SEC to allow companies to exclude shareholder proposals if a company includes a proxy proposal on the same subject, even if it would do the opposite of the shareholder proposal. That recommendation threatens to hijack the very existence of the proxy proposal system, which simply allows shareholders to petition boards to take action and to put those petitions to a proxy vote to gauge support from shareholders. Your meaningful vote in corporate elections and the foundations of democratic corporate governance are at stake. Continue Reading →
Those of us involved in corporate governance issues for a living enjoy talking shop with others in the field. One reason, I suspect, it that it’s so damned difficult to explain corporate governance norms to people on the outside. “You mean CEOs pretty well select the very board members who set those CEOs’ pay and performance standards? How can I get a job like that?”…and so on. Continue Reading →
Following publication of two out of three planed posts on recent research (part 1 and part 2), the following was received from Bernard S. Sharfman concerning his availability as a speaker, complete with a PowerPoint Presentation of his most recent paper. Since I believe his article and ideas deserve wide circulation, I reproduce his note below. I would love to hear from other authors as well and would welcome guest posts from all. Continue Reading →
Each year, the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School presents the annual Rising Star of Corporate Governance Awards.
The award recognizes people who, while young and possibly new to the field of corporate governance, are making their marks as outstanding analysts, experts, activists, or managers. Recipients may represent any of the many bodies that comprise the world of corporate governance: corporations, academic bodies, institutional investors, auditors, advisory firms, rating agencies, proxy services, professional associations, and others. Continue Reading →
Whole Foods Market (WFM) has informed me, without any attempt to negotiate terms over my submitted proposal, their board went ahead in adopting proxy access bylaws. See 8-K and amended bylaws. They have asked if I now want to withdraw my proposal. As I did for H&R Block, below I attempt to weigh the pros and cons of withdrawing my proposal. Continue Reading →
The key provisions included in the Company’s proxy access bylaw provision are substantially consistent with the Proposal. Given that the purpose of the Proposal has been fulfilled, we request that you promptly withdraw the Proposal.
Should I withdrawal my proposal and declare victory? Let’s examine. Continue Reading →