Author Archive | James McRitchie

Malek & other members of The Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Fund

MALEK: Working From Within

MALEK: Working from within, is an op-ed that appeared the Yale Daily News, on January 13, 2020. Gabriel Malek makes critically important points that need to be heard, especially by students but also by CorpGov.net readers who want to work with them. Malek’s key message: While students fight for divestment, also fight for shareholder engagement and […]

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Costco 2020 Proxy

Costco 2020 Proxy: How I Voted

Costco 2020 annual meeting is January 22nd. To enhance long-term value: Vote AGAINST Charles T. Munger, Auditor, and “True Diversity” Board Policy; FOR Director Removal Without Cause. Unfortunately, the meeting is virtual-only, instead of hybrid, so shareholders cannot meet each other, the directors or management. The board/management can also screen out any comments or criticisms. (more…)

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Sock Puppets for Proxy Advisory Rule

Sock Puppets for Proxy Advisory Rule

Sock puppets are trying to generate another round of astro-turf comment letters to the SEC. Proxy advisors do NOT file shareholder proposals. Your money is NOT being stolen to pay for abortions. Shareholder proposals are nonbinding and do NOT give money to anyone. This YouTube video is full of lies made up by fake organizations […]

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YourStake @SRI30

YourStake.org at SRI30 Conference

YourStake.org had one of the most crowded booths at the #SRI30 Conference last November. Maybe it was the cardboard box draped with an old Halloween costume around a computer and printer that drew people in. Maybe it was product. The center of attention looked a  like a homemade video arcade to me. Every time I walked […]

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Professional Athletes at SRI30

Professional Athletes at SRI30

Professional Athletes at #SRI30 were touted as the “next wave of impact.” I was delighted to learn from a panel of retired professional athletes about their second careers… giving back to the community. I am not a big sports fan but most Americans are. This panel presented a great opportunity for many the SRI community […]

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SEC Rulemaking Comment Tips

SEC Rulemaking Comment Tips

SEC Rulemaking Comment Tips: Action Needed SEC rulemaking comment tips repeated here are primarily based on advice from the Council of Institutional Investors. However, I am also including tips from the Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing, conference I attended in Colorado Springs in November. (Search #SRI30 for other Conference tidbits at CorpGov.net and on Twitter.) […]

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2020 ESG Proposal Lists

2020 ESG Proposal Lists

2020 ESG Proposal Lists Updated Our 2020 ESG proposal lists have been updated, thank to Lynn Jokela (bio) who posted something the other day at TheCorporateCounsel.net about how to find “other companies who are receiving the same shareholder proposals.” Presumably Jokela was focused on corporate counsel. Of course, our readers, primarily investors, also want to know who […]

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Shareholders Target Fund Voting

Shareholders Target Fund Voting For Sunlight

Shareholders target fund voting at BlackRock Inc., Vanguard, JPMorgan Chase, T. Rowe Price, and Northern Trust. (BlackRock, Vanguard Face Shareholder Rebuke Over Climate Votes, Bloomberg, 12/13/2019) With their rights under attack by the SEC, shareholders are beginning to realize how their investments are too often voted in corporate elections to concentrate power in self-serving corporate […]

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Millennial Socialists

Millennial Socialists Bolstered by SEC

Millennial socialists have not been overtly embraced by the SEC, but the Commission’s recent proposals to disempower proxy advisors and shareholders below the level of multi-millionaire’s plays into the hands of those advocating a socialist economy. The Commission’s proposed rules would further concentrate the power of corporate elites and reduce their accountability to “Main Street” […]

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Guidewire Software 2019

Guidewire Software 2019 Proxy Votes

Guidewire Software 2019 annual meeting is December 17th. To enhance long-term value: Vote FOR #5 – Majority Voting for the Election of Directors; #4 Eliminate Classified Board. AGAINST director Michael Keller and the auditor. Unfortunately, the meeting is virtual-only, instead of hybrid, so shareholders cannot meet each other, the directors or management. The board/management can also […]

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The Costs and Benefits of Shareholder Democracy

The Costs and Benefits of Shareholder Democracy

The Costs and Benefits of Shareholder Democracy (download from SSRN) by Nickolay Gantchev and Mariassunta Giannetti was referenced several times in the SEC’s proposed rulemaking to “modernize” the shareholder proposal process by making corporations more of democratic-free. The research was also referenced by two SEC Commissioners at the meeting when the proposal was initially voted […]

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Director of Shareholder Advocacy

Director of Shareholder Advocacy With SHARE

Director of Shareholder Advocacy applications due to SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education) by 5pm (Pacific) on November 29, 2019. This is one of the best positions in the world for someone who wants to push in the right direction with a great organization. (more…)

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MGM Dark Money

MGM Dark Money Contributions

MGM dark money is the subject of my first political disclosure proposal submitted for 2020. Dark money corrupts elections throughout the country. In the Supreme Court’s decision Citizens United, Justice Kennedy wrote, “Shareholders can determine whether their corporation’s political speech advances the corporation’s interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are […]

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2019 Moakoqitz Research Winners

2019 Moskowitz Prize Winners

The 2019 Moskowitz Prize Winners were named at the annual SRI Conference last week. The prestigious prize is the only global award recognizing outstanding quantitative research in sustainable and responsible investing. Since its launch in 1996 by Berkeley Haas and US SIF, its winners have explored shareholder activism, socially responsible mutual funds, and social responsible investing as a catalyst […]

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CSPI adopts

CSPI Adopts Director Majority Vote Standard

CSPI adopts director majority vote standard in response to shareholder proposal filed by shareholder James McRitchie (the publisher of CorpGov.net). The SEC proposes supposed Modernization of Shareholder Proposal Rules to gag small shareholders. At least for now, we continue to file to make corporate governance more democratic. CSPI is one more example of success and meaningful […]

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Joe Keefe SRI Conference Remarks

Joe Keefe SRI Conference Remarks

Joe Keefe, President and CEO of Pax World Funds, gave the following speech on November 14 on the occasion of the SRI Conference 30th anniversary. I reproduce the speech here for those who could not make it to this important event and because I believe Joe Keefe captured the essence of #SRI30. Note that Pax […]

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Extension-Sought-on-SEC-Rulemaking-Comment-Period

Extension Sought on SEC Comment Period

Extension sought by Josh Zinner of ICCR for SEC comment period on potentially explosive rulemakings of critical importance to all shareholders. Shareholders would do well to follow his lead by joining him in requesting a 120 day comment period for these complex rules. (more…)

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ISS Sues SEC - Gary Retelny CEO of ISS

ISS Sues SEC

ISS sues SEC is now “old” news, but I was on vacation when they did so on October 30, 2019, and have been busy since then. This post is primarily for my own future reference. Since the action is historically significant, I may want to reference it in the future. This post on CorpGov.net I […]

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Constructive Engagement - USSIFESGshareholderproposals 2016-2018

Constructive Engagement

Constructive engagement is, supposedly, the primary reason for the SEC’s proposed new rules. As Chairman Clayton noted, Today’s proposed amendments follow from the staff’s extensive experience with shareholder proposals and recognize the significant changes that have taken place in our markets in the decades since these regulatory requirements were last revised, including, in particular, the […]

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Modernization of Shareholder Proposal Rules - Trust Us

Modernization of Shareholder Proposal Rules

Modernization of Shareholder Proposal Rules Protect Entrenched Boards The SEC’s so-called modernization of shareholder proposal rules would significantly reduce the spread of long-term focus and best practices generated by proposals submitted by “gadflies” like myself to make corporations more democratic. Chairman Clayton seems to believe we file unpopular costly proposals. (more…)

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SEC Proposal to Improve Proxy Voting

SEC Proposal to Improve Proxy Voting Advice

SEC Proposal to Improve Proxy Voting to Have Opposite Effect SEC proposal to improve proxy voting advice would raise the cost of proxy voting analysis, reduce the number of customers and ultimately reduce shareholders ability to hold public companies accountable. If enacted, control of capital will be further removed from Main Street investors [Mr. and […]

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Costco Will Report on Prison Labor such as pajamas from China

Costco Will Report on Prison Labor

Costco will report on prison labor in its supply chain, such as pajamas from China, making it if the first U.S. company to make a public commitment to disclose known instances. Many thanks to NorthStar Asset Management for negotiating the agreement. (more…)

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climate policy

Climate Policy Appeal to CEOs

A climate policy appeal was sent to the CEOs of corporate America urging them adopt a “science based climate policy agenda” in line with the IPCC and to lobby accordingly, as well as aligning their trade association’s advocacy. The letter also references the investor Climate Lobbying letter backed by investors with $6.5 trillion in AUM. […]

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Gadfly Importance Key - McRitchie

Gadfly Importance Key to Democratic CorpGov

Gadfly importance to democratic corporate governance is often underrated. We are currently under attack by the Business Roundtable (BRT) and others seeking to substantially raise the ownership threshold for submitting and resubmitting proposals. BRT, for example, contends proposals from small shareholder divert “significant time and resources to issues that, at best, have an attenuated connection to the […]

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CalPERS Votes Against Pay

CalPERS Votes Against Pay at 1,195 Firms

CalPERS Votes Against Pay at More Companies Than Ever CalPERS votes against pay at 53% of companies during 2019 proxy season, truly setting an example with regard to stewardship around executive pay. That is up from 43% last year. I would be interested in an update of last year’s graphic (S&P 500 only, as above) […]

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CSP Directors Majority Vote Requested for 2020

CSP Directors Majority Vote Requested for 2020

CSP Directors Majority Vote requested in shareholder proposal for 2020 proxy season. This should be an easy but meaningful ask. More than 91% of S&P 500 use that standard. CSP’s market cap is about $55M, so CSP is a very small but even a majority of small-caps use a majority vote standard when electing directors. […]

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Quick Tour for Sacramento AAII

Quick Tour of CorpGov.net

Quick Tour for Sacramento AAII Members of the Sacramento Chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), Computer Investing Special Interest Group (SIG), wanted a quick tour of CorpGov.net. Happy to oblige. (more…)

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Rescind No-Action Policy

Rescind No-Action Policy

Investors ask SEC to rescind no-action policy recently announced. Additional resources and commentary regarding the new SEC No-Action Policy are included below the letter. Click for PDF. (more…)

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