October 2002

Webster Named The US Securities and Exchange Commission voted to approve five members of a new national accounting oversight board to be headed by ex-FBI-CIA chief William Webster whose only experience in accounting, as far as we know, was heading the auditing committee of U.S. Technologies, now bankrupt and facing fraud accusations. Shortly before Webster […]

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September 2002

CorpGov Bites How the Corporate Landscape Is Changing. CFO.com outlines the prospects for pages of corporate governance reforms. Providence Capital to another institutional shareholders meeting. This one will focus on Healthsouth (NYSE: HRC). Items on the agenda include Medicare issues, current leadership and business strategy, the Company’s corporate governance and the host of lawsuits recently […]

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August 2002

Board Services Grow Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin introduced a new Board of Directors Advisory Service to support outside directors with their increasingly demanding fiduciary duties. Houlihan Lokey will assign a team of investment bankers to provide information, analysis and advice to board members. The Service will review information supplied by clients, analyze the companyís financial […]

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July 2002

Last Chance to Comment on NYSE Proposed Changes to Listing Standards The New York Stock Exchange released recommendations from its Corporate Accountability and Listing Standards Committee, which propose new standards and changes in corporate governance and disclosure practices of NYSE-listed companies.See press release. See written comments. Write to help restore investor trust and confidence. Comments are due on August 1st. Below […]

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June 2002

CalPERS Fails to Act on Expensing Options “Stock options should not be treated as a business expense,” California’s Governor Gray Davis told the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group at their board meeting in San Jose. (Davis backs tech firms on options, SFGate.com, 6/13) No Davis doesn’t hold much influence with the SEC or the Financial Accounting […]

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May 2002

Monitoring By Shareholders Pays Research by Peter Wright of the University of Memphis, Mark Kroll of Louisiana Tech University, and Detelin Elenkov of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville recently found that in actively monitored companies, CEO pay raises connected to major acquisitions tend to reflect improved company performance. In laxly monitored companies, they tend to […]

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April 2002

ExxonMobil A major study from Claros Consulting will show that ExxonMobil’s attitude towards global warming could cost the company’s shareholders billions of dollars in coming years. The Claros Consulting report finds that ExxonMobil’s climate-change strategy involves unnecessary risks and missed opportunities – and is helping its competitors more than ExxonMobil itself. Commissioned by shareholder activist […]

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March 2002

Kennesaw Weighs in on Corporate Goverance Reforms Enron, Global Crossing and other recent debacles have stirred a great deal of thinking in recent months. Kennesaw State University’s Corporate Governance Center released a set of17 principles “to advance the current dialogue and to promote investor, stakeholder, and financial statement user interests.” Dana R. Hermanson, Director of Research, notes “we […]

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February 2002

End to Political Contributions BP, the world’s third-largest oil company, announced it will halt all of its political contributions worldwide, possibly motivated to avoid accusations of influence peddling in the era of Enron. BP CEO Sir John Browne said the company would continue to engage in policy debate, but would not fund any political activity […]

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The Divine Right of Capital

The Divine Right of Capital: New Corporate Paradigm?

Marjorie Kelly’s The Divine Right of Capital (link) offers insights in a readable style (favorably compared to Tom Paine by one prominent reviewer) and the beginnings of a viable alternative. After Enron, WorldCom and dozens of other frauds, the time may be ripe for a new corporate paradigm. Certainly, mistrust of the current system is at an all […]

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January 2002

2002 Proxy Season Preview and Briefing IRRC will provide an overview and detailed information on corporate governance and social responsibility issues facing corporations and their shareholders in the United States and abroad during the 2002 proxy season. A number of new shareholder initiatives are in the works for 2002, promising a particularly interesting year, and […]

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Archives: December 2001

Auditor Proposals on Rise In the wake of Enron’s collapse, pension funds and others have been flooding the firms they own with proposals for change. Enron paid Andersen $52 million in 2000 for both audit and non-audit services, then declared bankruptcy this year on December 2nd. “What’s new this year is these auditor independence proposals. […]

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Archives: November 2001

Monks Online Capstone Publishing has made available online the full text of The New Global Investors by Robert A. G. Monks. You can download it a chunk at a time in Adobe or the entire book via a zip file. That’s the second book Monks has made available online. The first was Power and Accountability. That book, with […]

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Archives: October 2001

Code Compliance Listed on Italian Stock Exchange Site The Italian Stock Exchange site now includes information concerning the level of compliance with the Exchange’s voluntary corporate governance code. Unicredito SpA and Banca di Roma SpA are currently among the country’s most transparent firms with detailed annual or financial reports. Bulgari SpA was at the other end, ignoring […]

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Archives: September 2001

World Council for Corporate Governance to Hold Conference The Council’s mission is to make a difference to national economies by improving the quality of their corporate governance practices. They hope to become a leading provider of knowledge about best practices in corporate governance to company boards, policy makers, investors, fund managers, financial advisors, researchers, academics […]

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Review – The New Global Investors & Working Capital Contrasted

Monks, Robert A. G., The New Global Investors: How Shareowners Can Unlock Sustainable Prosperity Worldwide, Capstone Publishing, 2001. Like many, Robert Monks recognizes that corporations have become the most dominant institution of our time. While they appear to be the most effective tool for creating wealth ever created, they also exact a growing cost…primarily the corruption […]

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Archives from August 2001

Survey Finds “Enormous Potential” for Growth in Religious Investing A national opinion survey sponsored by MMA Praxis Mutual Funds found that of the more than 1,000 investors surveyed nationwide by Opinion Research International in late June, 36% said they incorporated their faith with their finances at least part of the time. An additional 20% said they would […]

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July 2001: Archives

Acutant Shareholder Sought If you are a Actuant (ATU) shareholder who voted for the shareholder proposal recommending a shareholder vote on poison pills (approved by shareholders at the 2001 annual meeting), the proponent, John Chevedden asks that you contact him immediately at [email protected] He would like to discuss options for encouraging the company to adopt the proposal prior […]

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Archives: June 2001

Proxy Monitor Recommends Lone Star Shareholders Dissidents In a contested election, Guy Adams, is seeking to unseat Jamie Coulter, the company’s chairman and CEO. Mr. Adam’s objective is to enhance the independent representation on this board and to bring change and accountability to a board he believes has supported unacceptable corporate governance practices and a […]

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Archives: May 2001

Colorado Covered Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association has embraced covered call selling as a way of “having your cake and eating it too,” according to Norman G. Benedict, deputy executive director for investments at the $31 billion fund. The hedging strategy designed to limit downside risk allows them to hold 80% in equities with the […]

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Archives: April 2001

Enhancing Director Performance Strong boards provide competitive advantage and add value. Six keys to top-performance based on research findings by P. Michael Masher and Talcum C. Munro are as follows: Peer recognition. Ego and the basic need for recognition is a powerful motivator. Peer association. The mental stimulation produced by interaction with bright experience individuals […]

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Archives: March 2001

Shareholder Activism From a 1970 ruling on Dow Chemical’s napalm sales, which opened the door for social issues to be put to shareholder votes, to the focus lists of Council of Institutional Investors,[email protected] reviews the rise of shareholder activism. Metromedia Yields to Records Demad Documents will be examined by Lens Investment Management to determine if John W. Kluge, […]

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Archives: February 2001

Allied Owners Action Fund to Call it Quits Allied opened for business the same day the Nasdaq reached its all-time high. Now according to “Heard on the Net” at the Wall Street Journal (2/27), the fund is shutting down and returning the money invested by its 300 shareholders. Allied invited investors and the public people […]

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Archives: January 2001

Double Nomination Approach Gains Ground Richard Dee submitted six shareholder proposals last year requesting that companies nominate two candidates for each board seat. Four proposals came to a vote, averaging 8.1 percent support. Bart Naylor submitted a similar resolution at General Motors, receiving 6.9 percent of the votes cast. This year, Naylor plans to submit […]

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Mutual Funds Should Disclose Votes

On December 19, 2000 the AFL-CIO petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to require mutual funds to disclose how they are voting their shares. Currently, mutual funds aren’t required to disclose the principles they use when voting in corporate elections. Nor do they have to tell investors how they voted. Unlike pension funds, there isn’t […]

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Archives: November 2000

LENS Files Complaint at Metromedia Shareholder activist, Lens Investment Management, LLC, filed a formal complaint, under Section 220 of Delaware General Corporation Law, against Metromedia International Group, Inc. (Amex: MMG), a diversified global media company. Lens is seeking to inspect corporate records to determine whether top execs have breached their fiduciary duties by engaging in […]

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Archives: October 2000

LENS Files Complaint at Metromedia Shareholder activist, Lens Investment Management, LLC, filed a formal complaint, under Section 220 of Delaware General Corporation Law, against Metromedia International Group, Inc. (Amex: MMG), a diversified global media company. Lens is seeking to inspect corporate records to determine whether top execs have breached their fiduciary duties by engaging in […]

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Archives: September 2000

Proxy Monitor Acquires Investors Research Bureau Proxy Monitor, a leading proxy voting advisor to institutional investors, announced its acquisition of Investors Research Bureau, Inc., publisher of Securities Class Action Alert, the authoritative publication on federal securities class action lawsuits. “Tracking securities litigation, and making sure that they participate in settlements and judgments, is an increasingly […]

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