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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Archives: August 2000

Minow Writes to SEC Nell Minow of the Corporate Library recently wrote to the SEC to express her concerns a growing number of no action letters that make no sense. Her main focus is on a challenge made by Comshare based on the worthiness of the proponent. Nell Minow on Comshare Shareholder Proposal. Shareholder Efforts Recognized […]

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Archives: July 2000

SRI Outperforms Are you a pension fund trustee who’s counsel keeps saying you can’t do that when you suggest socially responsible investing strategies? Yes you can. Read “What Trustees Can Do Under ERISA” (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) – A study of permissible trustee activism. Let Kirsten Snow Spalding and Matthew Kramer guide you.Fiefdoms […]

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Archives: June 2000

Shareholders Virtually Screwed Reliable sources tell me that Senate Bill No. 363, “An Act to Amend Title 8 of The Delaware Code Relating to the General Corporation Law” has been signed into law by Governor Thomas Carper and goes into effect July 1. Section 7 allows companies to hold stockholder meetings entirely by remote communication without […]

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Archives: June 2000

Shareholders Virtually Screwed Reliable sources tell me that Senate Bill No. 363, “An Act to Amend Title 8 of The Delaware Code Relating to the General Corporation Law” has been signed into law by Governor Thomas Carper and goes into effect July 1. Section 7 allows companies to hold stockholder meetings entirely by remote communication without […]

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Archives: May 2000

GE Workers Demand More Control of Pension General Electric’s pension fund now has $2 for every $1 it expects to pay out. Who should benefit? BusinessWeek (6/5) carries an article entitled, “GE’s Pension Fund Runneth Over. So Do Tempers: Refusing to share more of the riches with workers sparks revolt.” GE’s pension fund has grown […]

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Archives: April 2000

Advisors to Disclose Vote Policies See my “Comments on SEC Proposed Rule: File No. S7-10-00.“ In 1988 the Department of Labor (DOL) set forth the opinion that, since proxy voting can add value, voting rights are subject to the same fiduciary standards as other plan assets. I have argued for many years that the same […]

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Archives: March 2000

Exec Pay Tied to Luck Study for the National Bureau of Economic Research by economists Marianne Bertrand of Princeton University and Sendhil Mullainathan of the MIT found three “luck” factors correlated with higher pay: The price of oil, the foreign-exchange rate, and the average performance in specific industries. Representation of large shareholders on a company […]

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Archives: February 2000

Nell Minow, “CEO slayer,” is at it again. The Corporate Library began publishing the employment contracts of top corporate CEOs. “In theory, these documents have always been public, because they are filed with the SEC. But in reality, they are hard to track down. We wanted to make them easily accessible so that anyone who is interested […]

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Archives: January 2000

Web posts blamed for firing, according to court documents filed on behalf of Dimitri Papadakos, formerly CEO of Gyrodyne Co. of America. Papadakos seeks $20 million in damages from Gyrodyne and various online posters, including his half brother, Peter Papadakos, a Gyrodyne director at the time. Also named were Peter Pitsiokos, Gyrodyne’s vice, president, corporate […]

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Archives: December 1999

Stock options granted in 1998 in public companies to nonexecs was $1,737, up from $1,269 in 1997, according to a survey by Sanford Berstein. Inc. magazine (10/99) says 39% of the Inc. 500 give stock options to all full-time employees, up from 26% last year. Data compiled by New York University economist Edward Wolff shows […]

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Archives: November 1999

Hermes announced a halt to its planned merger with Lens but also indicated it has addedCalPERS, OMERS, and SPP from Sweden as investors in its shareholder activism funds which now total $560 million. “HLAM is growing so quickly that we have decided the London based management team must focus on opportunities in [the] UK, and thereafter extend […]

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Archives: January 1999

January 1999 Mark Latham, author of the “The Corporate Monitoring Firm” in Corporate Governance An International Review (UK, January 1999), and founder of the Corporate Monitoring Project; has developed a newsletter and is working toward shareholder resolutions to be introduced in the year 2000. His articles on this innovative system were published in five countries and four languages […]

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