Tag Archives | ProxyDemocracy.org

Don’t Toss that Proxy

During the next several months, most corporations will be sending out their proxies (ballots) and holding their annual meetings. Individual shareholders own about 30% of the stock in US markets but few bother to participate, even though we often feel corporate managers have too much power and too little accountability. When we fail to vote, […]

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Voting by Phone in Corporate Elections

Maybe the app will be renamed iVote. Companies who want to encourage shareholders to vote on corporate resolutions publicized in proxy statements can do so next year, by allowing them to cast votes on their iPads, iPhones, Blackberries, Android or other smart handheld devices. Broadridge Financial Solutions said that it will make its ProxyVote.com software […]

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How I Voted at Hain, Cisco & Accuray

I waited too long to vote on the MoxyVote.com platform. However, even waiting until the day before the meeting, I was still only able to get minimal advice. I hearty thanks goes out to CalSTRS and their cooperation with ProxyDemocracy.org. At least they had announced votes for Hain and Accuray as I cast my votes […]

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An Open Proposal for Client Directed Voting

According to the SEC, “client directed voting” will be included in a forthcoming concept release on “proxy plumbing” issues and SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro now indicates review by the Commission is forthcoming (see this post on the Forum). It is critical that shareowners become familiar with this term. The SEC can shape their concept […]

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Investment Clubs as Active Ownership Funds

Calgary, of course, has more than oil and tar sands. The Calgary Herald recently carried an interesting article on investment clubs. (New breed of Investment club goes big, 7/4/10) Traditionally, investment clubs have up to about 12 people who meet over lunch or dinner for as much a social function as for investing. As those […]

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How I Voted at Infosys

I followed the lead of Calvert and Florida SBA, as reported by ProxyDemocracy.org, and voted with management down the line. I voted through the MoxyVote.com platform but they had no “advocates” weighing in on this ADS.

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Q&A on Client Directed Voting

Historically, most retail shareowners have tossed their proxies. During the first year under the “notice and access” method for Internet delivery of proxy materials, less than 6% voted. This contrasts with almost all institutional investors voting, since they have a fiduciary duty to do so. “Client directed voting” (CDV), a term coined by Stephen Norman […]

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How I Voted: Home Depot, Interface & Talbots

Home Depot: Since I’m only getting around to voting the day before the meeting I knew I couldn’t vote at MoxyVote.com but I went there anyway because it is very easy to pull up the proxy there. I also went to CalPERS but they had no voting advice on HD. I then went to ProxyDemocracy.org, […]

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How I Voted at Citigroup

ProxyDemocracy.org was very helpful, with several funds reporting their votes in advance. Also very helpful was CalPERS’ site, which provided reasons for their votes.  I voted for most of the directors, along with most of the funds who reported voting in advance on ProxyDemocracy. However, I joined with CalPERS in withholding my vote from the […]

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How I Voted at BP

Per my disclosures, I own a small amount of BP PLC ADS. Maybe because it is a foreign issue, I didn’t find BP as I tried to use MoxyVote.com but I was able to see how CalSTRS voted at ProxyDemocracy.org. Frankly, I’m not as informed as I would like to be, especially with regard to […]

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How I Voted at Schlumberger

Last year I had a Say on Pay proposal at Schlumberger, which received 39.8% of the votes. I tried to send a message that companies can’t hide, even if they meet in the Netherlands Antilles. Apparently, they can. Schlumberger got no shareowner proposals in 2010.  I haven’t seen much in the way of voting advice, […]

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Take a Stand Today as a ShareOwner

Joe Mont writes New Efforts Push Investors to Take a Stand (thestreet.com, 3/22/2010). When shareowner returns slid, CEOs continued to be paid 319 times what the average employee drew down. The checks and balances built into corporate governance don’t seem to be working. And how could they, when only 20% of individual shareowners bother to […]

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CorpGov Bites

“Bank of America persuaded the SEC to drop “proxy access” provision as they negotiated a $150 million settlement of a lawsuit tied to the takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co… The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 3 million companies, has said “activist shareholders” would use proxy access to hijack elections to pursue […]

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CDV vs FAVE: More Proxy Voting Options (updated)

Frank G. Zarb, Jr., a Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, and John Endean,  President of the American Business Conference, raise an important topic in a recent post to the HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (Restoring Balance in Proxy Voting: The Case For “Client Directed Voting,” 1/14/2010). Unfortunately, their solution would likely […]

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Proxy Voting Made Easy

David Bogoslaw, writing for BusinessWeek, notes new services like Moxy Vote—and upcoming regulatory changes—may boost the level of individual investors’ participation in shareholder voting. (Proxy Voting Made Easy, 2/10/2010) Our hope is that is also will allow shareowners to vote more intelligently by letting the see how others are voting and by providing abbreviated reasons. Shareowners […]

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ProxyDemocracy Update

ProxyDemocracy.org shares our vision of empowered investors and of corporations that stay accountable to their owners.  They’ve got a new look to the site and sent out a note updating readers on the following: Get the latest information: ProxyDemocracy has changed its appearance — and is offering more information than ever. Visit our dynamic new […]

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Advocacy websites offer hope

Nice article by that title appeared in Canada’s Financial Post. “Imagine a democracy where those who don’t vote have their ballots automatically cast in favour of the incumbents… Enter an idea whose time has come: websites such as corpgov.net, shareowners.org (corrected), proxydemocracy.org and moxyvote.com. These are just four offerings on the Internet designed to help […]

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Vote Disclosure Coming at Pension Funds

At a hearing on compensation in the financial services industry, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said, “If you are the owner of shares … you have a privacy right, but if you own shares on behalf of a fiduciary you will need to disclose how you vote.” In late 2003, after years of […]

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SIF Funds Outperformed

A review of 160 socially responsible mutual funds from 22 members of the Social Investment Forum (SIF) finds that the vast majority of the funds — 65 percent — outperformed their benchmarks in calendar year 2009, most by significant margins. These SRI funds topped benchmarks across nearly all asset classes, including balanced, large cap, small […]

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Can We Change Voting Behavior?

We Own You!: How technology can help stockholders take control of the corporations they own, Slate.com, 1/12/10.  Eliot Spitzer writes,  “Twitter, text messages, YouTube, and other technology transformed politics in 2008. This success raises a compelling question: Can the same technology awaken the more dormant world of corporate democracy?… Could proxy voting in 2011 generate the […]

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Latham at Stanford: Governance Reform for Corporations and Democracies

On November 16, 2009, the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University presented a lunch-time lecture with Mark Latham, Director of VoterMedia.org and ProxyDemocracy.org. Latham is also a member of the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee, as a representative of individual investors. He has written extensively on how the internet can […]

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Handbook of Social Capital

When Tocqueville visited the United States in the 1830s, it was our propensity for civic association that impressed him as the key to making democracy work. "Americans of all ages, all stations in life, and all types of disposition:’ he observed, "are forever forming associations. There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which […]

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July 2008

ESG Gaining Acceptance Since 2005, KLD has studied the S&P 100’s sustainability reporting practices for the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network, a working group of the Social Investment Forum. The 2008 Sustainability Report Comparison reveals encouraging news. Of the 100 largest U.S. publicly-traded companies, 86 maintain corporate sustainability websites and 49 produced sustainability reports in 2007. These numbers represent significant progress […]

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Corpocracy and How to Get Our Democracy Back

One book on corporate governance made Ralph Nader’s list of Nine Books That Make a Difference: A Reading List for the Holidays. Here’s his brief review: Corpocracy by Robert A.G. Monks (Wiley Publishers) summarizes its main theme on the book’s cover-“How CEOs and the Business Roundtable Hijacked the World’s Greatest Wealth Machine-and How to Get […]

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