#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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TWTR 2019 votes

Twitter 2019 Proxy Voting Guide

Twitter 2019 annual meeting is April 20th. Vote AGAINST Robert Zoellick, auditor and shareholder proposal on board nominee ideologies.  FOR Pay, shareholder proposals on Simple Majority Vote and Content Enforcement Policies. (more…)

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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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Marriott 2019 Proxy Voting Guide

Marriott 2019 Proxy Voting Guide

Marriott 2019 annual meeting is May 10th. Vote by May 9 online. For optimum accountability and shareholder return vote AGAINST J.W. Marriot Jr., Mary K. Bush, Eric Hippeau, Lawrence W. Kellner Aylwin B. Lewis, George Muñoz, Steven S. Reinemund, and Susan C. Schwab, as well as auditor and say-on-pay. Vote FOR Eliminate Supermajority and Provide Right […]

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We Three Kings - Caleb Griffin

We Three Kings: Sharetopia

We Three Kings: Disintermediating Voting at the Index Fund Giants (download at SSRN) by Caleb N. Griffin provides insight as to how investors could influence the Big Three index funds — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, as those funds exercise increasing power over the economy. Like me, Griffin is interested in extending democracy to corporate […]

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American Express 2019

American Express 2019 Proxy Vote Recommendations

American Express 2019 annual meeting is May 7th. Vote by May 6 online. For optimum accountability and shareholder return vote AGAINST John Brennan, Peter Chernin, Stephen Squeri, Ralph de la Vega, Ronald Williams, the Auditor, Say-on-Pay. Vote FOR Written Consent, Deduct Impact of BuyBacks on Pay, Report on Gender Pay Gap. (more…)

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Proxy Voting Alignment

Proxy Voting Alignment Will Drive Index Fund Competition

Proxy voting alignment with client values will drive competition between index funds. Most index funds have low fees and earn close to the same rate of return for their investors. How can they differentiate themselves? SEC Commissioner Rob Jackson Jr. implies competition should be driven, at least in part, by funds aligning their proxy votes with […]

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Paycom 2019

Paycom 2019: Proxy Voting Recommendations

The Paycom 2019 annual meeting is April 29th at 5300 Gaillardia Boulevard, Oklahoma City at 11:00 a.m. local time. Your last opportunity to vote online is April 28th. To increase corporate performance and shareholder value, WITHHOLD votes from Clark and Duques. Vote AGAINST pay; FOR auditor and FOR shareholder proposal to declassify the board. (more…)

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CSR 5.0 Skytop Strategies

CSR 5.0 Skytop Strategies

CSR 5.0. I must have missed 2.0 through 4.9… focused on corporate governance and ESG. This was my first Skytop Strategies conference (agenda) or one specifically on the topic of CSR. It was billed as presenting “the evolution of corporate social responsibility from its initial shared value paradigm to its current form. The program will […]

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Kellogg 2019

Kellogg 2019 Proxy Vote Recommendations

Kellogg 2019 annual meeting is April 26th. Stock price fared poorly for the last five years, so the CEO should not be paid as if he had average performance. Vote AGAINST pay. The Compensation Committee should not be reelected, since they recommended average pay for below average performance. Vote AGAINST Laschinger and Tasted. Vote AGAINST […]

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Discover 2019

Discover 2019 Proxy Vote

Discover 2019 Proxy Vote Recommendations. The Discover Financial Services (DFS) 2019 annual meeting is May 16th. To enhance long-term shareholder value, vote AGAINST directors Aronin, Case, and Weinbach, as well as the auditor. Vote FOR pay, end supermajority standards and shareholder proposal to allow shareholder of 15% to call a special meeting. ABSTAIN on the […]

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ESG Executive Director - Doug Chia leaves vacancy

ESG Executive Director Position @ TCB

ESG Executive Director position opening at The Conference Board (TCB) in June, since Douglas Chia is taking a position in academia at the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law & Governance. This is a dream job for the right candidate. Doug is a hereo and will be hard to replace, so you had better be good.  […]

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Normalized Deception

Normalized Deception: Spectrem Group

Normalized deception in the world of politics has spread to proxy voting controversies. A recent white(wash) paper by the Spectrem Group purports to be “providing a voice to retail investors on the proxy advisory industry” by employing a ham-handed survey, which seeks to “educate” respondents through leading questions. The report’s catchy title is Exile of […]

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gender-diversity

Gender-Diversity: Who Votes Fearlessly?

When investing for gender-diversity for other ESG, check fund voting records. With the SEC’s cryptic proxy vote disclosure system, that is difficult (draft Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes), so ask your investment advisor and hope they subscribe to Morningstar Direct. As evidenced by a recent Morningstar report, State Street’s Fearless Girl appears timid about […]

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MBII Elects Directors by Majority Vote 3-18-19 at 7.02 PM

MBII Elects Directors by Majority Vote

MBII elects directors by majority vote, effective March 15th 2019. Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII) amended its bylaws after a request by shareholder advocate James McRitchie and upon the recommendation of the Nominating and Governance Committee. The bylaws now provide that, in uncontested elections, MBII elects directors by majority vote of “For” and “Withheld” votes cast. […]

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Morningstar Direct Uncovers ESG Hypocrites

Morningstar Direct Uncovers ESG Hypocrites

Morningstar Direct is planning to offer its clients important voting data. The firm recently published a preview of what I impolitely term ESG hypocrites – funds that advertise themselves as allowing us to invest in our values but then vote proxies against our values. For example, last week, students around the world participated in a massive […]

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Rulemaking Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes

Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes

Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes Abstract: Corporations have facilitated the most dynamic economic growth in history. Addressing adverse externalities, like dark money and climate change, has been hampered by dispersed ownership. Mechanisms are needed to define common values and increase individual empowerment within corporate dominated economies. Ironically, recent concentration of corporate ownership by […]

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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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corporate lobbying

Corporate Lobbying Disclosure Proposals 2019

Corporate lobbying disclosure remains a pressing shareholder proposal topic for 2019. A coalition of at least 70 investors have filed proposals at 33 companies asking for disclosure reports that include federal and state lobbying payments, payments to trade associations and social welfare groups used for lobbying and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and […]

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Berry Global Group 2019

Berry Global Group 2019: Proxy Votes

Berry Global Group 2019 annual meeting is March 6, 2019. To enhance long-term shareholder value, vote AGAINST Carl Rickertsen, Thomas Salmon and Scott Ullem, as well as auditor, pay and 25% threshold for special meetings.  Vote FOR 1 year frequency for say on pay and for shareholder proposal to provide a 15% threshold for special […]

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Cyber security at Disney

Cyber Security at Disney: Vote FOR Report

Cyber security at Disney would benefit from clear links between senior executive performance metrics and compensation. Cyber security and data privacy are vitally important issues for Disney and should be integrated as appropriate into senior executive compensation to incentivize leadership to reduce needless risk, enhance financial performance, and increase accountability. [yasr_visitor_votes size=”small”][yasr_overall_rating size=”small”] (more…)

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Apple 2019

Apple 2019: Proxy Vote Recommendations

The Apple 2019 annual meeting is March 1st. To enhance long-term shareholder value, vote AGAINST directors Levinson and Gore., as well as pay and the auditor. Vote FOR shareholder proposal #4 Proxy Access Amendments and against #5, which aims to set up an ideological litmus test for directors. [yasr_visitor_votes size=”small”][yasr_overall_rating size=”small”] (more…)

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Prison Labor - NorthStar Report

Prison Labor Fight at Costco: NorthStar Gathers Support

Prison Labor concerns raised again by NorthStar Asset Management won nearly 29% of shareholder votes at Costco Wholesale meeting on January 24, up from almost 5% last year.  The proposal asked for enhanced analysis and disclosure on risks related to prison labor in the company’s supply chain. Yes, if you just read that old link from a […]

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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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