Archive | February, 2013

Position Available: Executive Director of Lowell Milken Institute at UCLA

The UCLA School of Law is seeking a highly talented, experienced individual to be the Executive Director of the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law to start July 1, 2013.  The Institute’s mission is to bring world class policy analysis, research and educational opportunities in business law and policy to UCLA, the broader community of Southern California, the nation and the world. Continue Reading →

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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 voted against all 32 proposals; Northern Trust, 28 out of 29; BlackRock, 30 out of 32; and Fidelity, 28 out of 30. Continue Reading →

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Environmental and Social Shareowner Proposals Gain Traction

Key Characteristics of Prominent Shareholder-sponsored Proposals on Environmental and Social Topics, 2005-2011, released by the IRRC Institute (IRRCi) and researched by Ernst & Young LLP finds environmental and social (E+S) shareowner proposals are gaining increased support from investors at US companies. Download the report, presentation, press release and even replay the webinar from IRRCi’s website. Continue Reading →

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SVNACD Now SVDX

The Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (SVNACD) sent an e-mail to members and friends last Friday notifying us they are changing their name to the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange. Here’s the body of the notice from the Board of Directors:

Our new name reflects our mission: we are a forum for education and conversation about current, relevant issues facing boards of directors of Silicon Valley companies. Your affiliation with the new Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange is automatic (and free). The website of the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange (SVDX) is www.svdx.org Continue Reading →
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Walt Disney (DIS): How I Voted – Proxy Score 17

The Walt Disney Company ($DIS) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 3/06/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked on 2/26/2012. I added CalSTRS below, which announced their votes earlier.  I voted with management 17% of the time.  View Proxy Statement.

Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank will be voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Don’t Let Companies Change Shareholders’ Blank Votes) Continue Reading →

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Apple: How I Voted, Proxy Score – 46

Apple ($AAPL) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 2/27/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of five funds when I checked on 2/19/2012.  They listed the votes of six funds voting as of yesterday. I voted with management 46% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. I voted, despite David Einhorn’s attempt to get an injunction to block the vote on “Proposal 2″ in Apple’s proxy statement, which would abolish a system for issuing preferred stock at its discretion, facilitate majority voting in director elections and establish a par value for the company’s common stock. Continue Reading →

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The Jobs Act: Challenges and Opportunities

As the United States continues to rebuild its economy, the JOBS Act will impact businesses and financial markets. Legal practitioners, scholars, and students must be proficient in the legal and business aspects of the JOBS Act. This symposium will facilitate discussions of potent topics related to the future of securities transactions regulated under the JOBS Act and the impacts these transactions will have on the practice of law. Continue Reading →

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Faith-Based Investing: Believers Engaging the Boardroom

The following guest post comes from Usman Hayat, was published by the CFA Institute on 13 February 2013, and is republished here with permission. 

Why, how, and to what effect do faith-based investors engage with companies to seek positive social and environmental change? A recent report, “Believers in the Boardroom: Religious Organizations and Their Shareholder Engagement Practices” by International Interfaith Investment Group (3iG), addresses this question.

The report offers case studies from three faith-based investors — Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Church of England, and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust — who lobbied financial giants such as Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC), to varying degrees of success. Continue Reading →

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Webinar on Environmental & Social Proxy Proposals

The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute will host a webinar on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 1 PM ET to review the findings of a new study that finds environmental and social (E+S) shareholder proposals are gaining increased voting support from investors at U.S. public companies. From 2005-2011, average support for these proposals more than doubled, from about 10 to more than 20 percent.  Continue Reading →

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Quicker Disclosure of Ownership Petitioned – Updated

NYSE Euronext, NIRI (National Investor Relations Institute) and the Society (Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals) submitted a joint petition to the SEC requesting the SEC to reduce the time frame under which investors are required to report their holdings from 45 business days after the end of the quarter to two business days after the end of the quarter. Currently, the Exchange Act requires quarterly reporting, so a further reduction than quarterly reporting would require an act of Congress. Continue Reading →

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Audio Friday – TheCorporateCounsel.net: Ginny Fogg on Shareholder Proposal Process

Note: Members Only –  TheCorporateCounsel.net always produces top quality content but I thought the recent post Inside Track with Broc: Ginny Fogg on Shareholder Proposal Processes (2/8/13) was especially informative regarding how at least one company deals with shareowner proposals. As Broc Romanek points out, Fogg discusses:

  • What is your shareholder proposal intake process (eg. who gets copies and is there a log)?
  • What are the steps in deciding how to react to a shareholder proposal?
  • What do you do for relief during the proxy season?
  • Who drafts and reviews a statement in opposition to a shareholder proposal?
  • What is a typical game plan in handling a shareholder proponent who says they are coming to the annual meeting? Continue Reading →
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