Tag Archives | ESG

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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Costco ESG Momentum

Costco ESG Momentum: Right to Remove Directors

Costco ESG momentum has improved. I submitted a shareholder proposal to help keep it on that path. The proposal would eliminate a corporate governance anomaly Costco has by virtue of being incorporated in the state of Washington, which allows articles of incorporation to provide that directors cannot be removed without cause by shareholders. (more…)

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ICCR Letter to BRT

ICCR Letter to BRT on ESG Resolutions

Below is an ICCR letter to the BRT from Josh Zinner commending them on their recent acknowledgement of the value of stakeholders and asking them to reassess their opposition to shareholder resolutions. I have added a few links to the ICCR letter to the BRT. I look forward to hearing more from Josh today at 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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McRitchie 2019 Proxy Season

McRitchie 2019 Proxy Season Win for Market Beta

McRitchie 2019 proxy season results are not something I normally report. It feels too much like bragging. I do my work to drive better, more accountable corporate governance. However, the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance is “considering recommending that the Commission propose rule amendments regarding the thresholds for shareholder proposals under Rule 14a-8.” It is […]

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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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Golden Peacock Awards

Golden Peacock Award Applications Open

Golden Peacock Award applications due August 31, 2019. Today, Boards are expected to focus on improving their effectiveness—not just their compliance, but also Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance for long term sustainability and making their companies investor friendly. Boards also require frameworks for optimizing board engagement and performance, enhancing the contribution of individual board […]

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Quora Stock Market Question

Quora: Stock Market Good or Scam?

I posted one of several responses to the following question on Quora: Do you find investing in the stock market a good investment strategy or a scam? I thought my blog readers may also be interested in what I posted to Quora. Here it is with minor changes. (more…)

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Josh Levin

Josh Levin of OpenInvest Interviewed by Sonya Dreizler

Josh Levin of OpenInvest was kind enough to chat with me at Morningstar’s Investment Conference earlier this year. Unfortunately, I was busy and distracted but curious about Josh Levin and his investment platform. Could OpenInvest and similar firms disrupt the mutual fund industry? Andreessen Horowitz, YCombinator, QED, and others back OpenInvest financially. I knew OpenInvest allows customers […]

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SSgA critical of GHG short-term

SSgA Critical of GHG Short-Term Disclosures

SSgA critical of GHG short-term perspective offered up by oil and gas, mining and utility disclosures on addressing greenhouse gas emissions. If we are to maintain a salubrious environment, much of the coal and oil will turn out to be stranded assets. Given that reality, I reallocated most positions I had in this sector to […]

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Training for Sunstainable Investing

Training for Sustainable Investing

Training for Sustainable Investing was a topic at the most recent Morningstar Conference in Chicago. (#MICUS) I would like to learn more the education of investment advisors in #ESG, #SRI, #corpgov issues. Interest in sustainable investing was high at the conference due to fund flows and client inquiries. However, I only saw a couple of […]

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Sustainability at Morningstar

Sustainability at Morningstar

Sustainability at Morningstar (Morningstar Investment Conference #MICUS) in Chicago was an important topic, growing in popularity. As posted, their research found “72% of the United States population expressed at least a moderate interest in sustainable investing.” Nice to know many value a habitable planet as well as profits. However, research from Morningstar also finds we […]

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#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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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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Real-Time Proxy Voting Disclosure - Image from Pensions & Investments

Real-Time Proxy Voting Disclosure Will Drive Competition

Real-time proxy voting disclosure by big funds could drive competition for investments from individual investors and smaller institutional investors with few resources for proxy analysis. Such disclosures would also go a long way in solving problems raised by Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Lucian Bebchuk, and the Main Street Investors Coalition regarding potential […]

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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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Fitch ESG Relevance Scores

Fitch Links ESG to Credit Ratings

Fitch Ratings today announced the launch of a new integrated scoring system that shows how environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors impact individual credit rating decisions. On one side, the Main Street Investors Coalition believe investors must focus on maximizing financial return and management knows best. On the other side are those who want to broaden […]

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ESG assets Trend up

ESG Assets Surging but at Risk

US SIF study documents environmental, social, and governance — ESG assets — under management surging. ESG assets now account for one in every four investment dollars. Demand for ESG asset focus is coming from real people. In contrast, the Main Street Investors Coalition [funded by the National Association of Manufacturing (NAM)], insists on “maximizing performance ahead of […]

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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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Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom

Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom?

The deceptive title of a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal would not keep politics out of the boardroom. Instead, the recommendations would deny shareholders the right to request boards disclose those politics, in addition to denying many other long-standing rights. Read the op-ed and weep that such trash gets published in the Journal. This […]

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Environmental Health Program Manager

Environmental Health Program Manager Wanted

Environmental health program manager wanted by my favorite nonprofit, As You Sow. Austin Wilson is leaving for a period of extensive travel. I will certainly miss him and hope when he returns he will find similar employment. Looking to make the world a better place and have the right skills and experience? There is probably […]

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Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill Proxy Guide

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG), together with its subsidiaries, operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 2,363 Chipotle restaurants throughout the United States, as well as 37 international Chipotle restaurants; and 8 non-Chipotle restaurants. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 70+ pages of the proxy is not worth […]

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PayPal Holdings

PayPal Holdings Proxy Recommendations

PayPal Holdings (PYPL), operates as a technology platform company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants worldwide. Its payment solutions include PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, and Paydiant products. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 100+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small […]

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intel intc

Intel Proxy Voting Recommendations

Intel Corporation (INTC), designs, manufactures, and sells computer, networking, data storage, and communication platforms worldwide. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 100+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make. Below, I tell you how I am voting and why. If you have read […]

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United-Guardian - Various jars and bottles of skin care products with orchid flower

United-Guardian Proxy Rule Violation

United-Guardian (UG), United-Guardian, Inc. manufactures and markets cosmetic ingredients, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, medical lubricants, healthcare products, and specialty industrial products in the United States and internationally. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make, although this one is only 16 […]

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Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab Proxy Voting Guide

Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW), through its subsidiaries, provides wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, asset management, custody, and financial advisory services. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 100+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make. Below, I tell you how I voted and why. […]

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3D Systems

3D Systems Proxy Voting Guide

3D Systems Corporation (DDD), through its subsidiaries, provides three-dimensional (3D) printing products and services worldwide. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 50+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make. Below, I tell you how I voted and why. If you have read these posts […]

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Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01

Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01: New Tone, Same ESG Analysis

Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01 Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01 issued by Trump administration. Recently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) within the Department of Labor (DoL) released Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01 (link) relating to ESG (environment, social and governance) and shareholder rights for ERISA governed benefit plans. I set out some brief high-level analysis on the guidance below. (more…)

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