Tag Archives | BlackRock

SEC Proposal to Improve Proxy Voting

SEC Proposal to Improve Proxy Voting Advice

SEC Proposal to Improve Proxy Voting to Have Opposite Effect SEC proposal to improve proxy voting advice would raise the cost of proxy voting analysis, reduce the number of customers and ultimately reduce shareholders ability to hold public companies accountable. If enacted, control of capital will be further removed from Main Street investors [Mr. and […]

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Gadfly Importance Key - McRitchie

Gadfly Importance Key to Democratic CorpGov

Gadfly importance to democratic corporate governance is often underrated. We are currently under attack by the Business Roundtable (BRT) and others seeking to substantially raise the ownership threshold for submitting and resubmitting proposals. BRT, for example, contends proposals from small shareholder divert “significant time and resources to issues that, at best, have an attenuated connection to the […]

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Mutual Fund Wars

Mutual Fund Wars Over Fees AND Proxy Votes

Mutual fund wars are fierce around pricing. What if competition was also fierce around proxy voting? Could that change the world? I certainly think so. My petition to the SEC could generate mutual fund wars around ensuring proxy votes align with investor values. (Rulemaking Petition for Real-Time Disclosure of Proxy Votes, SEC File 4-748, Jul. […]

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More Beta: Modernizing Modern Portfolio Theory

More Beta: 21st Century Portfolio Theory

More beta is what investors should focus on order to increase long-term returns, argue Jim Hawley and Jon Lukomnik in their paper, The Long and Short of It: Are We Asking the Right Questions? – Modern Portfolio Theory and Time Horizons (download). That has also been the objective of Corporate Governance (CorpGov.net) since 1995. I […]

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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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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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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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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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American Values

Internet Will Drive Public Opinion and Proxy Voting to Reflect American Values

American values were recognized as at risk in 1932 when Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means argued that with dispersed shareholders, ownership has been separated from their control. (The Modern Corporation and Private Property) Ironically, concentration of equities under the umbrella of three or four indexed funds presents an opportunity to end that divide and make companies […]

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Say.com Goes Live on Tesla

Say.com Goes Live on Tesla

Say.com goes live to help small shareholders have a greater voice in how the companies they’re invested in are run. Say facilitates proxy voting for shareholders who invest at the broker-dealers it is partnered with and also is creating new products for all shareholders to engage with companies, regardless of where they invest.  (more…)

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NAM Board Targeted

NAM: Stop Supporting ‘Main Street Investors’ Coalition Say Real Investors

NAM Board Targeted Investors led by Walden Asset Management, New York Common and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) called on 45 companies sitting on the Executive Committee and Board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to end the trade association’s attacks on shareholders. The investors’ letter asks the companies to distance themselves […]

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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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Do the opposite

Do the Opposite: Franklin Resources Plays George

Do the Opposite was funny in the sitcom Seinfeld but not so funny when Franklin Resources does the opposite of shareholder proposals. In fact, doing the opposite threatens the existence of even the facade of democratic corporate governance, alive since 1947 with the legal right of shareholders to file and vote on proposals. (more…)

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Frozen Charters

Frozen Charters: Major CorpGov Issue

Thanks to Scott Hirst‘s articles and papers on the subject, I can borrow his catchy label for one of biggest current problems in corporate governance. Frozen charters are supermajority provisions that are impossible to repeal. He appears to attribute that to the 2012 change by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which changed its policies […]

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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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listing standards valuation-dual-class-firms

Listing Standards Requested by CII

Listing standards change sought by the Council of Institutional Investors (CII). CII filed petitions with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ, asking both to limit listings of companies with dual-class share structures. They have taken the right approach to address a growing problem. I hope it ends a worldwide race to the […]

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SB 826

SB 826: Sidley Austin LLP Update

SB 826 requires specified California-based public corporations to include women directors on their board. Sidley Austin LLP put out a bulletin on the topic. To ensure it receives widespread circulation, I am reproducing its main text below, with one minor change to break up an absurdly long sentence. (more…)

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Main Street Investors

Main Street Investors: Battle Coming

The battle over Main Street Investors could determine the future of the American economy for decades to come. According to Cydney Posner of Cooley PubCo, on one side are those who believe investors must focus on maximizing financial return and management knows best. On the other side are those who want to broaden the focus […]

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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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Tesla Proxy Access

Tesla Proxy Access: Item 4 Presentation

Tesla Proxy Access, item #4 Tesla shareholders meet Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time, at the Computer History Museum located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA 94043.   In the interest of more accurate press coverage of Tesla Proxy Access, item #4, I (James McRitchie) am posting the text of my […]

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Culture Impact #corpdirforum2018

Culture Impact: Directors Forum 2018

The Culture Impact: Values, Attitudes & Strategic Directions Culture impact in corporate governance got a big boost with NACD Blue Ribbon Commission report Culture as a Corporate Asset. A brave panel tackled the topic, The Culture Impact: Values, Attitudes & Strategic Directions, at the Corporate Directors Forums I attended in San Diego. Like all Corporate Directors Forums, this […]

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Climate Competency

CII: Climate Competency & Risk

Shifting Investor Perspectives on Climate Risk & Board Climate Competency These notes on climate competency are my last post from the Council of Institutional Investors Fall 2017 conference.  Find more at #CIIFall2017.  As a member of the press, I was excluded from the policy-making meetings. Still, it was a great opportunity to touch base with members […]

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Walden Moves BlackRock, Thanks to Timothy Smith

Climate Risk – Walden Moves BlackRock

Walden Moves BlackRock: Background A number of investors, led by Walden moves BlackRock on climate Risk. Walden Asset Management and the Center for Community Change, along with the City of Seattle Employees’ Retirement System and First Affirmative Financial Network, filed a shareholder resolution requesting a review of BlackRock’s proxy voting process and record on climate […]

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Investor Stewardship Group logo

Investor Stewardship Group: 1 Share, 1 Vote

Investor Stewardship Group Launches Stewardship Framework for 2018 The Investor Stewardship Group (link), a collective of some of the largest U.S.-based institutional investors and global asset managers, along with several of their international counterparts, announced the launch of the Framework for U.S. Stewardship and Governance, a historic, sustained initiative to establish a framework of basic standards […]

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Rich Ferlauto on Climate Competency

Climate Competency Needed in Boardrooms

Large institutional investors, concerned about portfolio risks stemming from the effects of global warming, are calling for climate-competent boards and directors as part of their fiduciary responsibility to preserve and enhance the long-term value of their investment assets. Despite the anticipated rollback of climate related governmental policies such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power […]

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Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and a group of influential leaders in business and finance have joined to develop a set of "commonsense" principles that institutional investors and governance advisers are mostly applauding. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images and used by Wahington Post)

Commonsense Principles: Ground Floor

The so-called Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance are posted here mostly for my future reference, since I don’t know how long others will keep them on the internet. The authors are no radicals, but are a group of 13 executives from the country’s largest public companies and institutional investors… very much mainstream CEOs. Almost half hold both […]

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Reeds Delivered a Corrected Proxy for Christmas

Reeds Delivered a Corrected Proxy for Christmas

There it was under my tree, Reeds delivered a corrected proxy for Christmas! Santa has finally been good to Reeds (REED) shareholders. I’m tacking notification of the corrected proxy as a sign that Founder/CEO, Christopher Reed might be at the start of a new attitude toward  SEC rules and corporate governance, I changed my vote. […]

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BlackRock

BlackRock: Proxy Score 65

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), one of the stocks in my portfolio, provides investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/28/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of one fund when I checked on 5/19/2015. I voted with Board recommendations 65% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my […]

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