Author Archive | James McRitchie

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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2019 Public Fund Forum Takeaways - Montage Deer Valley

2019 Public Funds Forum Takeaways

Listing 2019 Public Funds Forum takeaways is not easy. First, the Forum is held under Chatham House Rule, so no direct quotes. Second, I was networking and collaborating on various projects, so was not there for every panel or speaker. Third, my 2019 public funds forum takeaways focus only on what was new to me, […]

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Rule 14a-8

Rule 14a-8 Process Defended

Rule 14a-8 process is defended by investors representing $525 billion in assets under management. Many thanks to US SIF for coordinating this vital effort. It is good to remind the SEC that their mission is to protect investors, not to protect companies from their investors. (more…)

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climate action 100+

Climate Action 100+ Trade Association Accountability

Climate Action 100+ calls for trade association accountability on climate change. 200 institutional investors with a combined $6.5 trillion in assets-under-management are calling on 47 of the largest US publicly traded corporations to align their climate lobbying with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Lobbying activities that are inconsistent with meeting climate goals are an investment […]

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Costco ESG Momentum

Costco ESG Momentum: Right to Remove Directors

Costco ESG momentum has improved. I submitted a shareholder proposal to help keep it on that path. The proposal would eliminate a corporate governance anomaly Costco has by virtue of being incorporated in the state of Washington, which allows articles of incorporation to provide that directors cannot be removed without cause by shareholders. (more…)

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Verbal No-Action Decisions - SEC Lost Its Head

Verbal No-Action Decisions Questioned

Verbal No-Action Decisions Slammed by Shareholder Rights Group Verbal no-action decisions by the SEC threaten the integrity of corporate governance. On September 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new policy providing for verbal no-action decisions that could significantly reduce transparency and accountability in the process of enforcement of the rules on shareholder proposals. […]

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Shareholders v Stakeholders

Shareholders v Stakeholders

Shareholders v Stakeholders is in the news again, driven by the Business Roundtable. Someone asked Quora: Regarding corporate social responsibility, do you agree more with the shareholder view or the stakeholder view theory? Below is my response with a few edits, after some additional thought. (more…)

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ICCR Letter to BRT

ICCR Letter to BRT on ESG Resolutions

Below is an ICCR letter to the BRT from Josh Zinner commending them on their recent acknowledgement of the value of stakeholders and asking them to reassess their opposition to shareholder resolutions. I have added a few links to the ICCR letter to the BRT. I look forward to hearing more from Josh today at the […]

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Mutual Fund Wars

Mutual Fund Wars Over Fees AND Proxy Votes

Mutual fund wars are fierce around pricing. What if competition was also fierce around proxy voting? Could that change the world? I certainly think so. My petition to the SEC could generate mutual fund wars around ensuring proxy votes align with investor values. (Rulemaking Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes, SEC File 4-748, Jul. […]

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Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities RE100

Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities

Renewable energy needs investments of $100B just to support commitments by RE100, according to the latest analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Download New Energy Outlook 2019. RE100 companies committed to offset 100% of their electricity demand from green sources. (more…)

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Facebook CalSTRS Court Clash

Facebook CalSTRS Court Clash

Facebook CalSTRS court clash seeks to reform governance practices. The California Teachers’ Retirement (CalSTRS) Board recently announced it will make a motion to be added as a plaintiff to a pending derivative case against Facebook’s leadership, including CEO/Chairman Mark Zuckerberg in line with the fund’s Corporate Governance Program and Portfolio Policy. (more…)

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Investment Advisers Allison Lee

Investment Advisers SEC Clarification: Allison Lee

Investment Advisers: Allison Lee Statement Re SEC Guidance Investment advisers, proxy services. – It is not often that I simply reprint a post from another source, in this case the SEC. However, I have filed this one under history of corporate governance. I may want to reference it as I an example of where the SEC formally misstepped. […]

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McRitchie 2019 Proxy Season

McRitchie 2019 Proxy Season Win for Market Beta

McRitchie 2019 proxy season results are not something I normally report. It feels too much like bragging. I do my work to drive better, more accountable corporate governance. However, the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance is “considering recommending that the Commission propose rule amendments regarding the thresholds for shareholder proposals under Rule 14a-8.” It is […]

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More Beta: Modernizing Modern Portfolio Theory

More Beta: 21st Century Portfolio Theory

More beta is what investors should focus on order to increase long-term returns, argue Jim Hawley and Jon Lukomnik in their paper, The Long and Short of It: Are We Asking the Right Questions? – Modern Portfolio Theory and Time Horizons (download). That has also been the objective of Corporate Governance (CorpGov.net) since 1995. I […]

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Dual-Class Enablers

Dual-Class Enablers: Vote Against Directors

Dual-Class Enablers – CII brings them from shadows to sunlight. Get out your disinfectant (your proxies) and vote against these directors both at dual-class companies (where your vote has little impact) AND at other companies where dual-class enablers also occupy board seats, for now. Print out the list today and use it when voting your […]

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Golden Peacock Awards

Golden Peacock Award Applications Open

Golden Peacock Award applications due August 31, 2019. Today, Boards are expected to focus on improving their effectiveness—not just their compliance, but also Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance for long term sustainability and making their companies investor friendly. Boards also require frameworks for optimizing board engagement and performance, enhancing the contribution of individual board […]

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ISG

ISG First Conference with Weinberg Center – Sept. 13, 2019

ISG (Investor Stewardship Group), an investor-led initiative comprised of more than 60 of the largest U.S.-based institutional investors and global asset managers representing in excess of US$31 trillion AUM, joins with the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance to hold what promises to be an informative and exciting conference. Register now. (more…)

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Quora Stock Market Question

Quora: Stock Market Good or Scam?

I posted one of several responses to the following question on Quora: Do you find investing in the stock market a good investment strategy or a scam? I thought my blog readers may also be interested in what I posted to Quora. Here it is with minor changes. (more…)

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The Making of a Democratic Economy

The Making of a Democratic Economy: Review Essay

The Making of a Democratic Economy: How to Build Prosperity for the Many, Not the Few by Marjorie Kelly, Ted Howard, Naomi Klein (Foreword). Buy the book. As Naomi Klein notes in the Forward, We need to know what we are for as well as what we’re against… It’s not enough to imagine that another world is […]

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Phelps Mass-Flourishing-cover

Phelps’ Mass Flourishing Reviewed

Phelps’ Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change by Edmund S. Phelps. Important issues are discussed but the typology, especially the characterization and treatment of corporatism, is problematic. (more…)

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Josh Levin

Josh Levin of OpenInvest Interviewed by Sonya Dreizler

Josh Levin of OpenInvest was kind enough to chat with me at Morningstar’s Investment Conference earlier this year. Unfortunately, I was busy and distracted but curious about Josh Levin and his investment platform. Could OpenInvest and similar firms disrupt the mutual fund industry? Andreessen Horowitz, YCombinator, QED, and others back OpenInvest financially. I knew OpenInvest allows customers […]

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Petmed Express 2019 poor performance

Petmed Express 2019 Proxy Guide

PetMed Express 2019 annual meeting is July 26th. To enhance long-term value. Vote AGAINST Campbell, Formica, Fulgoni, Korn and Schweitzer, Pay, & Auditor. Vote FOR Amend Bylaws and Eliminate Supermajority Provisions. (more…)

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CalSTRS Corporate Governance Investment Officer II

CalSTRS Corporate Governance Career Opportunity

CalSTRS Corporate Governance Division Seeks Investment Officer II The CalSTRS Investments Branch seeks a motivated individual to work as an Investment Officer II in the Corporate Governance Division.  Qualified readers should apply to this opportunity of a lifetime. Many decades ago, I helped persuade CalPERS to form a corporate governance unit. They chose one of […]

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