Archive | Research

Kokkinis and Sergaki

Kokkinis and Sergakis: Employee Participation in UK Companies – Lessons for US

Kokkinis and Sergakis – A Flexible Model for Efficient Employee Participation in UK Companies by Andreas Kokkinis & Konstantinos Sergakis, 17 Feb 2020 (download), provides several insights that may be helpful in guiding US efforts as well. As mentioned in my coverage of the recent SHARE Summit, #SHARE2020, I am investing in public companies with employee ownership. […]

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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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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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The Age of Living Machines

The Age of Living Machines

The Age of Living Machines: How Biology Will Build the Next Technology Revolution by Susan Hockfield provides a quick read of what is on the horizon. The former president of MIT believes the convergence of biology and engineering  will be as transformative as the previous convergence of physics and engineering. (more…)

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Sustainability at Morningstar

Sustainability at Morningstar

Sustainability at Morningstar (Morningstar Investment Conference #MICUS) in Chicago was an important topic, growing in popularity. As posted, their research found “72% of the United States population expressed at least a moderate interest in sustainable investing.” Nice to know many value a habitable planet as well as profits. However, research from Morningstar also finds we […]

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#MICUS 2019

MICUS 2019: #Susty #VR

MICUS 2019 was my first Morningstar investment conference. It was HUGE, with lots interesting exhibits, speakers and attendees. I had a chance to chat with Ray Sin who, along with Ryan Murphy and Samantha Lamas, authored The True Faces of Sustainable Investing: Busting Industry Myths Around ESG. Additionally, I got a chance to play a […]

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mission-led employee-owned

Mission-Led Employee-Owned Firms Top Charts

Mission-led employee-owned firms offer an alternative to conventional publicly-traded companies. With support from Partners for a New Economy, Fifty by Fifty‘s research demonstrates, mission-driven employee-owned firms are the Best of the Best. Using data from B Lab, which assesses the social and environmental impact of B Corps, Fifty by Fifty found these firms outperform on […]

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Proxy Preview 2019 issue trends

Proxy Preview 2019: Better Every Year

Proxy Preview 2019 reveals intensified shareholder pressure on corporations across a wide range of ESG issues from climate and political spending to women. Investors with a conscience; we are having a bigger impact every year. Download the report and/or watch webinar here.  (more…)

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Shareholder Democracy Network on Drugs

Shareholder Democracy Network on Drugs

Drugs are being priced out of reach. The new web platform, Shareholder Democracy, will enable millions of Americans to “vote” on pending 2019 shareholder resolutions at six pharmaceutical companies. Shareholder Democracy Network and its drug-pricing ballot for stakeholders will be launched during a phone-based news conference at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on Tuesday (February […]

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Real-Time Proxy Voting Disclosure - Image from Pensions & Investments

Real-Time Proxy Voting Disclosure Will Drive Competition

Real-time proxy voting disclosure by big funds could drive competition for investments from individual investors and smaller institutional investors with few resources for proxy analysis. Such disclosures would also go a long way in solving problems raised by Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Lucian Bebchuk, and the Main Street Investors Coalition regarding potential […]

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Second Annual Board Governance Research Report

Second Annual Board Governance Research Report

The second annual Board Governance Research report on Women on Boards of Companies Headquartered in California examines the current state of board gender diversity. California made history in 2018 by becoming the first state in the U.S. to require that public companies headquartered in the state have women on their boards. Last year’s report was cited in […]

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Index Funds - Jill Fisch

Jill Fisch: Index Funds Investors Can Switch

Jill Fisch, et al. addresses a central myth around index funds and investors in Passive Investors (June 29, 2018). Her research has implications applicable to recent analysis and recommendations by Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr., Professor Lucian Bebchuk and others.  The following is the central highlight: Our key insight is that although […]

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Big Three Index Funds - Bebchuk and Hirst

Big Three Index Funds: Bebchuk, Hirst and More

Lucian Bebchuk has given more thought to the issues surrounding the Big Three Index Funds than other researchers. He and Scott Hirst recently provide a “comprehensive theoretical, empirical, and policy analysis of index fund stewardship.” Reference also Strine: Big 4 Responsible to “Forced Capitalists,” as well as The Untenable Case for Keeping Investors in the Dark by […]

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Support for Corporate Political Disclosure

Support for Corporate Political Disclosure Surges

Support for corporate political disclosure sponsored by the Center for Political Accountability’s resolution jumped among the largest mutual funds in 2018.  An analysis by Fund Votes found support moved to 53%, up from 45% in 2017. This 8% increase was the largest since CPA began tracking institutional investor votes on its resolution in 2008. (more…)

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ESG assets Trend up

ESG Assets Surging but at Risk

US SIF study documents environmental, social, and governance — ESG assets — under management surging. ESG assets now account for one in every four investment dollars. Demand for ESG asset focus is coming from real people. In contrast, the Main Street Investors Coalition [funded by the National Association of Manufacturing (NAM)], insists on “maximizing performance ahead of […]

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David Webber & Doug Chia

David Webber Interviewed by Doug Chia: Video

David Webber was interviewed by Doug Chia recently. I previously reviewed Webber’s book elsewhere, Working-Class Shareholder: Review Essay, which included links to several interviews. However, Doug Chia’s interview of David Weber is exceptionally good, worth viewing. Douglas (Doug) Chia is executive director of the Governance Center for The Conference Board. (more…)

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Shareholder Collaboration

Shareholder Collaboration

Shareholder Collaboration is a new ECGI working paper by Jill Fisch and Simone M. Sepe. Fisch is one of my favorite researchers, being insightful and less predictable than many of those in the primary academic hubs of corporate governance (Harvard, Stanford, and Delaware). In Shareholder Collaboration, the authors discuss the growing importance of a collaborative […]

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Impact Investing - American Century Survey

Who Wants Impact Investing?

“Impact investing” – financial investments designed to generate a measurable, positive impact on society, while also providing potential returns – is growing in popularity, according to new research conducted by American Century Investments. The “appeal” of impact investing reached 49% among 2018 survey participants, compared to 38% in 2016. At 56%, Millennials find impact investing […]

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gender quotas in-california-boardrooms-could-pave-the-way-for-diversity

Gender Quotas in California Boardrooms May Pave Way for Diversity

By August 31, 2018, California could become the first state in the nation with gender quotas to mandate publicly held companies that base their operations in the state to have women on their boards. The legislation—SB 826—will require public companies headquartered in California to have a minimum of one female on its board of directors […]

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Microcap Board Governance -Director Election Standards

Microcap Board Governance: Less Independent, Less Diverse

Microcap Board Governance, a study conducted by Board Governance Research LLC commissioned by the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi), examines microcap board governance at 160 companies. That represents about  ten percent of all companies with less than $300 million in market capitalization traded on major U.S. stock exchanges. (more…)

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2018 AFL-CIO Key Votes Survey

2018 AFL-CIO Key Votes Survey Input Wanted

An updated 2018 AFL-CIO Key Votes Survey form is now available for completion by investment managers. Please note that the previously announced vote at Amazon will not be included in the 2018 AFL-CIO Key Votes Survey as the proposal was withdrawn before the annual meeting. The survey form can be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat […]

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Stock Buyback Economy

Stock Buyback: Shareholder Initiative

A stock buyback can increase senior executive pay, unrelated to performance. First, stock buybacks increase the value of long-term performance stock options and other forms of equity pay. Second, senior executives sometimes time their own stock sales to take advantage of the bump in price that usually accompanies stock buyback announcements. Such behavior defeats the […]

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Prison Labor

Prison Labor: Corporate Supply Chain

NorthStar Asset Management, Inc., a Boston-based wealth management firm, announced that it has published a white paper outlining its perspective on the issue of domestic (U.S) prison labor in company supply chains, and recommending best practices for companies and investors to uncover and respond to abusive labor practices. Prison Labor in the United States: An […]

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Measuring Effectiveness

Measuring Effectiveness: SDG Investing

A new measuring effectiveness roadmap helps investors ensure they are moving beyond generating environmental or social impact through individual market transactions and are better aligning with broader system-level goals (e.g., the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). Group action along the same trajectory can better influence system-level change. The measuring effectiveness roadmap helps investors answer […]

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Millennials Seek to Support Sustainability through 401k Plans

Millennials: Sustainability 401k Plans

As millennial-aged employees now represent the majority of the U.S. workforce, it is increasingly important that corporate management finds ways to engage them in the company. Creating 401k plans which connect to their core values — like solving human, social and environmental problems through their work and investments — can be a huge advantage to the company as a […]

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India Proxy Season 2017 - InGovern

India Proxy Season 2017: InGovern

The India Proxy Season 2017 came to an end on September 30th. InGovern collated meeting details of 1,502 companies. I do very little to cover the India proxy season, so welcome this informative report from InGovern, India’s first independent corporate governance research and advisory firm. Downloaded a pdf of the report, India Proxy Season 2017 (more…)

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