Is the Battle for Proxy Access Over?

Winston Churchill gives sign for victory

Proxy Access Victory?

The Status of Proxy Access 2015:

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill 

This post is in response to a LinkedIn piece by Anthony Goodman of Tapestry Networks regarding the status of proxy access post the success of New York Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Board Accountability Project (with adopt of proxy access by Bank of America, Abercrombie & Fitch, Big Lots and Whiting Petroleum to date). While the “2015 Battle for Proxy Access” appears won, the war over access is far from finished. What is over is the “ambiguity” over whether there is unanimity amongst institutional investors, governance advocates and proxy advisors for the 3-3-25 standard or whether the mega mutual funds would support conflicting higher ownership thresholds and holding periods. We now know that the answer to that question is generally universal support for 3-3-20/25 standard. Continue Reading →

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SRI Conference 2015: Investing for Impact

Investing For ImpactPhilanthropic, Foundation Worlds Expected to Join Investors and Investment Professionals Engaged in Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) Investing; Early-Bird Registration Now Open.

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact InvestingNow in its 26th year, the SRI Conference will be November 3-5, 2015 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado and will probably be the largest ever. Leaders in the philanthropy and foundation worlds are invited to participate in the largest, longest-running annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals.  Early-bird registration is now open. Contact Krystala Kalil at 888-774-2663 to answer your questions. Continue Reading →

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Investing Lessons from the Virginia Company of London

Virginia Company of LondonInvesting in America began with bankruptcy and early lessons in corporate governance. In the early 17th century, the hottest stock in England was the Virginia Company of London. Instead of adding to their fame and fortune, wealthy investors gained several hard insights from this first company to go bust on American soil.

Fame Is Not To Be Confused With Fortune

By 1609, the Virginia Company was two years into the Jamestown settlement and despite many setbacks from rugged conditions and Continue Reading →

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Video Friday: Where is the SEC on Dark Money?

Dark MoneyI think most Americans have a very limited attention span when it comes to investing, the SEC and especially corporate governance. When I came across SECDisclose.org earlier this week, I was delighted with a series of videos they have uploaded on dark money and with their byline: Because the S.E.C. shouldn’t stand for “S-E-C-RET.”

In a few paragraphs below lifted from SECDisclose and a press release from the Corporate Reform Coalition, I hope to perk your interest in this project so that you’ll share their links with your friends. I love their campaign. It is very creative. However, one thing the campaign fails to do, at least as far as I could tell in a quick look, is to call their viewers and readers to action. I’ve practically hounded my readers to death on this issue but will do so once again. Continue Reading →

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Brocade Communications Systems (BRCD): Proxy Score 43

Brocade CommunicationsBrocade Communications Systems, Inc. (BRCD), which provides storage area networking (SAN) and Internet protocol networking solutions, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/7/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of two funds when I checked and voted on 4/2/2015.  I voted with management 43% of the time and assigned Brocade Communications a proxy score of 43. Publishers note: Elizabeth Chang, my administrative assistant, will be posting several of my votes for upcoming meetings.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Brocade Communications 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Proxy Access Win at Biogen & Other Efforts in 2015

Proxy Access in the USMy wife and I don’t have the resources to or stock holdings to allow us to file 75 proxy access shareholder proposals, like New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Boardroom Accountability Project. However, I have been writing about proxy access for 20 years and, together with Les Greenberg, filed the petition in 2002 with the SEC that many have credited with renewing interest in the subject. We hope our efforts, although small, contribute to making companies more democratic and profitable. Continue Reading →

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Take a Quick Financial Literacy Test

3 Question Financial Literacy Test

Who Answered All 3 Questions Correctly?

Hopefully, most CorpGov.net readers know at least some financial basics, otherwise they wouldn’t be interested in the rather arcane subjects we discuss.

Here’s a quick financial literacy test for readers, courtesy of Wharton professor Olivia S. Mitchell, who gave it to a small sample of subjects and came up with a number of conclusions: Continue Reading →

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Video Friday: SEC Proxy Voting Roundtable

Replay the SEC Proxy Voting Roundtable. (Sorry no YouTube embedded video. You need to click a link.)

Unfortunately, there is a gap about 2/3 of the way through for a fire drill. The second panel does come back but the video runs out while Nell Minow is speaking. As usual, she provides the best quote of the day: Continue Reading →

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eBAY Commits to Gender & Racial Diversity: Issues Remain

eBayNew York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Trillium Asset Management today announced that they have withdrawn the shareholder proposal they filed at eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) after the company agreed to revise its Governance Guidelines to include gender and racial diversity among the qualities its seeks in its board members. Several other issues remain on the proxy. Continue Reading →

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Lost in Translation: Directors & Cyber-Risks

Cyber-Risk

Cyber-Risk

Cyber-Risk Forum as Advertised by SVDX

Directors aren’t chief technology officers (CTOs): What is the “right” level of inquiry and diligence when it comes to cyber-threats? Where will boards be held responsible for cyber-failures, and what can they do to protect their shareholders and themselves from frivolous suits? What did the Target board fail to do that the Wyndham board did so well? The panel includes active public company board members, a corporate governance expert steeped in the ethos of Silicon Valley and a renowned cyber-liability insurance expert. The program will be both practical and interactive. Continue Reading →

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