Book Review: Owning Our Future

Marjorie Kelly is the rarest of authors, discussing some of the most difficult problems we face but doing so through an easily understood narrative of her own search for answers that is bound to draw in readers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Her analysis is insightful and the recommendations contained in Owning Our Future: […]

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Video Friday: Roger Martin – Fixing the Game

The common belief that firms exists to maximize shareholder value has led to massive growth in stock-based compensation for executives and a naive and wrongheaded coupling of the “real” market (the business of designing, making and selling products and services) with the “expectations” market (the business of trading stocks, options and complex derivatives). It’s a […]

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New Pay Comparison Tool From Stanford

Aligning CEO pay with shareowner value is key for many. A new tool (at least new to me), the Compensation and Wealth Calculator, from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Corporate Governance Research Program, allows users to see how the compensation of CEOs and other NEOs, which they have already received over the years in the form […]

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The Problem with Pay for Performance

How Not to Argue for Bonuses. Reprinted with permission from PIRC Alerts, 17 July 2012. PIRC is the UK’s leading independent research and advisory consultancy providing services to institutional investors on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. (more…)

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Failed SOP Companies Become Targets

For future reference, I’m bookmarking 2012 Say-on-Pay Votes: Fulfilled Expectations, Though Not Without Surprises by Shirley Westcott of Alliance Advisors, LLC, originally published in the corporate governance newsletter VIPsight. (more…)

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In Celebration of MoxyVote.com

As co-founder Mark Schlegel announced Tuesday, MoxyVote.com will be closing down its proxy voting platform at the end of the month. See also Ross Kerber’s report for Reuters at Shareholder website closing, cites complex voting rules, 7/11/2012 and Mark Latham’s Sad News: @MoxyVote Is Closing #Corpgov. On the surface, it seems like a real tragedy. I’m sure Mark, Doug […]

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Dell: How I Voted – Proxy Score 67

Dell ($DELL) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 7/13/2012. Voting ends 7/12 on Moxy Vote’s proxy voting platform, which had 0 recommendations “from good causes” when I checked and voted on 7/10/2012. ProxyDemocracy.org had information on 6 funds voting.  I voted with management 67% of the time. (more…)

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2012 Proxy Access Efforts

As Glyn Holton reported last week, the SEC denied no-action requests from Forest Labs ($FRX) and Medtronic ($MDT). (SEC Delivers For Shareowners On Proxy Access, 6/29/2012) Therefore, shareowners will get an opportunity to vote in favor of proxy access at upcoming shareowner meetings. (more…)

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Review: International Corporate Governance

International Corporate Governance stands out as textbook that looks at the topic from a truly global standard. Author Marc Goergen first came to my attention in the 1990s as a member of the European Corporate Governance Network (ECGN), since renamed the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). He brings both breadth and depth to a wide range of […]

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SEC’s Authority at Risk?

The United States Constitution was written on 4 pages in 1787. Now there are  over 80,000 pages of regulations in the Federal Registry. In a time mired by fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption, in both the public and private sectors, an article by the Business Integrity Alliance argues that corporate directors who set (more…)

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SEC Delivers For Shareowners On Proxy Access

USPX members’ efforts to advance proxy access got a boost today from SEC staff. Two companies, Forest Labs ($FRX) and Medtronic ($MDT), had sought no-action letters from Commission staff to allow them to exclude from their proxy materials the USPX model proxy access proposal. Both requests have been denied. (more…)

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Best Broker For Obtaining Rule 14a-8 Letters: TDAmeritrade

I’ve decided to consolidate my accounts to TDAmeritrade, although I haven’t completed the process so please let me know if you think I’m making a mistake. I am an investor, not a trader, so the trading fees don’t matter much to me. My biggest concern is getting broker letters. However, only four firms were evaluated, […]

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Risky Music and Investment Managers

Economic theorists have suggested the possibility that preferences are dynamic and vary with environmental conditions. Are Risk-Preferences Dynamic? Within-Subject Variation in Risk-Taking as a Function of Background Music investigates such preference interactions as a possible explanation to why risk preferences can change. (more…)

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Review: The Shareholder Value Myth

Like the Economics of Good and Evil by Tomas Sedlacek, Lynn Stout’s The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public is an exploration into the history and sociology of knowledge. While Sedlacek ambitiously tackles several myths at the core of economics, Stout focuses laserlike on the misconception that corporations are required to […]

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If I Were on the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee: Recommendations to Help Retail Investors

The new SEC Investor Advisory Committee (SECIAC) met for the first time last week. It appears there may be agreement by Committee members to first concentrate their efforts on retail investors. At least that was the message of several Committee members and the expressed wish of Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar. The SECIAC would do well to recommend […]

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