Tag Archives | Vanguard

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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Normalized Deception

Normalized Deception: Spectrem Group

Normalized deception in the world of politics has spread to proxy voting controversies. A recent white(wash) paper by the Spectrem Group purports to be “providing a voice to retail investors on the proxy advisory industry” by employing a ham-handed survey, which seeks to “educate” respondents through leading questions. The report’s catchy title is Exile of […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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 Asset Management

Walden Withdraws Vanguard Proxy Voting Shareholder Resolution

Walden Asset Management has engaged a number of investment managers and mutual funds on their proxy voting practices, specifically challenging voting records on shareholder resolutions addressing significant social and environmental issues. I see this as a major victory. However, more Vanguard shareholders need to speak out to ensure momentum continues. Contact Vanguard. In 2017, Walden filed […]

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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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Best SRI Funds

Looking for Best SRI Funds? Start Here

After making the decision to apply the principles of SRI investing, many clients embark on the initial step of selecting a core stock fund. Traditional investors have literally hundreds of highly efficient core investment solutions. However, SRI investors aren’t so blessed—which is why I put together this core list of Best SRI Funds. Best SRI funds need […]

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Vanguard Voted Against All Political Disclosure Resolutions (2nd from bottom on graph)

Vanguard’s Political Disclosure Vote: Wrong!

Let’s change Vanguard’s political disclosure vote. Our nation’s largest mutual fund voted against all resolutions submitted by shareholders asking for companies to disclose their political spending. Shouldn’t we have the right to know what candidates our investments are supporting? Vanguard’s Political Disclosure Vote Needs Changed Join more than 59,000 American’s who have already petitioned Vanguard to […]

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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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Vanguard

Vanguard Letter To Boards: Will Stick Follow?

On February 27, 2015 Vanguard sent out an important letter to many boards of directors of publicly traded companies. The letter, signed by Vanguard’s Chairman and CEO, exhorts directors to follow best practices to ensure that corporate resources are stewarded effectively. But what happens to those boards of directors who are stubbornly entrenched? (more…)

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Jack Bogle

Jack Bogle on Diversified Portfolios vs Speculation

Buying and holding stocks and bonds for the long term and maintaining a diversified portfolio are still the smartest strategies for the average investor, says Vanguard founder Jack Bogle in answer to Mark Cuban and other critics of these traditional approaches. In the Big Interview with Journal columnist Jason Zweig, Bogle takes aim at the […]

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AFL-CIO Key Votes Survey Results for 2012

Vanguard, Northern Trust, BlackRock and Fidelity scored the lowest among researched funds in supporting AFL-CIO endorsed proxy issues in 2012, according to their 2012 Key Votes Survey. Calvert, Amalgamated Bank, McMorgan and Bridgeway scored the highest. On proxy-voting issues at 32 companies the AFL-CIO considers representative of a “worker-owner view of value that emphasizes management accountability and good corporate governance,” Vanguard […]

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UNFI: How I Voted – Proxy Score 17%

United Natural Foods ($UNFI) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 12/12/2012. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three funds when I voted on 12/5/2012.  I voted with management only 17% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank will […]

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"Say on Pay" to be Annual

I believe ISS/Risk Metrics created a policy on the Frequency of Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation (Management “Say on Pay”), a new proxy item required under The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Their Recommendation: Vote FOR annual advisory votes on compensation, which provide the most consistent and clear communication channel for shareholder […]

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Vanguard on Corporate Governance

It is great to see an article in the WSJ from John Brennan, chairman emeritus of Vanguard on Improving Corporate Governance: A Memo to the Board (5/10/10).  Brennan says boards are improving and offers several bits of advice to keep the momentum going: 1) Know that you are the shareholders’ first line of defense. 2) […]

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