Tax Avoidance with Subsidiaries in Luxembourg

Tax Avoiding Brands with Subsidiaries in Luxembourg

Tax Avoiding Brands with Subsidiaries in Luxembourg

More than 80 reporters from 26 countries sifted through up to 1,000 leaked documents and collaborated across borders to tell the Luxembourg Leaks story on multiple platforms. But one of the main difficulties reporters faced was translating the complexity of the financial arrangements laid out in the leaked documents to language and examples that a broad audience could understand.

The animation below, Luxembourg Leaks: Tricks of the Trade, produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, plays an important role in making the arcane accessible. My portfolio includes Apple, Caterpillar, Coca Cola and Amazon. Ugh. Of course I want to make money… but not this way.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

CEO Pay: Link to the Cost and Future Value of Capital

IRRCi study on CEO PayTotal shareholder return (TSR), is the most frequent metric used to pay CEOs for performance. The authors of this excellent study from IRRCi believe CEO pay should, instead, be linked to the cost and future value of capital.

CEO Pay for ‘Performance”

In 1993, Congress amended the tax code to tie executive pay to “performance” metrics. To be a deductible business expense, pay had to be linked to performance. Stock price was an easy proxy for performance and the link was acceptable to the IRS. Before the amendment, in 1991, average CEO pay at large public firms was 140 times that of average employees. By 2003, it was approximately 500 times. Whereas equity-based compensation at such firms was zero percent in 1984, it climbed to 66% by 2001. The percentage of CEO pay from stock option grants rose from 35% in 1994, to 85% by 2001.

As the authors point out, “total shareholder return is, by far, the most dominant performance metric in long-term incentive plans.” Yet, increased TSR often has little to do with actually growing a business for the long-term. The rise of fall in stock price generally has little to do with CEO effort. When there is effort involved, rewards come quicker through cost-cutting (firing employees, reducing R&D), stock buybacks or financial engineering than by developing new products, training staff or increasing sales. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing: Part 3

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact InvestingThis is the third in a multi-part series on the main program of the 25th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing held November 9–11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. See also Video Friday: What is Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing?Violating Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Increases Industry RisksSurveys: Nonprofit Board Members & SRI 2014 Conference Attendees25th Annual Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, Part 1 and Part 2. The Agenda page of the Conference site now has links to video, audio and presentation slides.  Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing: Part 2

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact InvestingThis is the second in a multi-part series on the 25th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing held November 9–11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

See also Video Friday: What is Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing?Violating Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Increases Industry Risks, Surveys: Nonprofit Board Members & SRI 2014 Conference AttendeesSustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing: Part 1. The Agenda page of the Conference site now has links to video, audio and presentation slides.  Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Video Friday: UK Law Commission Clarifies Fiduciary Duty?

UK Law CommissionThe UK Law Commission’s final 2014 report and guidance on fiduciary duty:

The Review identified widespread concern about how fiduciary duties were interpreted in the context of investment.  In particular, some stakeholders felt:

  • it was not clear who in the investment chain was subject to fiduciary duties and what those duties were;
  • their fiduciary duties required them to maximise returns over a short-time scale, precluding consideration of long-term factors which might impact on company performance;
  • their obligations were entirely defined and limited to their contractual obligations or required no more than a duty of care.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

25th Annual Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact InvestingThe 25th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing was held November 9–11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. I’ve been working with many of the organizers, sponsors and participants for years but this was my first time to the SRI annual conference. I attend a lot of conferences every year but this one was the most fun — and probably the most informative. I’ll be back. In fact, I’ve already blocked out November 3-5 on my calendar for next year. This is the first of a several part series on the conference. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Hain Celestial Group: Proxy Vote Score 14

Hain CelestialThe Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASD:HAIN), which manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells organic and natural products, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 11/20/2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked on 11/18/2014. Sorry for the late post. Today is the last day to vote online. I voted with management 14% of the time and assigned them a proxy score of 14.  View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the HAIN 2014 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Cisco Systems – Proxy Vote Score 37

Cisco SystemsCisco Systems, Inc. (NASD:CSCO), which designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 11/20/2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked on 11/18/2014. Sorry for the late post. Today is the last day to vote online. I voted with management 37% of the time and assigned them a proxy score of 37.  View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Cisco Systems 2014 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Violating Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Increases Industry Risks

A new report finds that US extractive companies expose shareholders to risks by neglecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights

First Peoples Worldwide

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact InvestingFirst Peoples Worldwide released the Indigenous Rights Risk Report at the SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, a product of two years of consultations with investment analysts, industry professionals, and Indigenous Peoples. The report analyzes 52 U.S. oil, gas, and mining companies with projects operating on or near Indigenous territories around the globe, impacting some 150 Indigenous communities. These projects were assessed against five indicators (Country Risk, Reputation Risk, Community Risk, Legal Risk, and Risk Management) to determine their risk of Indigenous community opposition or violations of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Video Friday: What is Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing?

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing was the subject of the 25th annual SRI Conference, held November 9–11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. I’ll post some notes from the conference, beginning next week. Meanwhile, take a look at the Twitter feed at #SRIC14.

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing (or “SRI”) is becoming more and more popular as investors seek to make money and at the same time have a positive impact. SRI investment strategies seek to direct the flow of investment capital in healthy and transformative ways — toward the creation of a truly sustainable future. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Shareholder Rights Get Snipped in Australia: Government Restricts Rarely Used Rule – just in case

Flag of AustraliaThe Australian Government is set to repeal an existing provision in the Corporations Act that allows 100 shareholders the flexibility to require a company to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to consider a resolution outside of the annual meeting process.

Business lobbyists including the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and the Australia Institute of Company Directors (AICD) support the move. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Investors Back Global Tax Reform and Transparency

g20Australia

Global Tax Reform and Transparency Urged

LAPFFIn a global first, a group of institutional asset owners and managers are jointly calling for comprehensive transparency and disclosure to be adopted as core principles in reform of the international taxation system to be put before the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane this weekend.

The group including the £150B UK Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), Quebec fund Batirente, Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), Paris based OFI Asset Management & Triodos Investment Management from the Netherlands have issued a  statement supporting the initial stage of the OECD BEPS Action Plan and urging a general improvement in corporate governance, transparency and disclosure  standards around taxation issues.  Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Whole Foods Market’s Sham Proxy Access Proposal

Arron Bernstein

Arron Bernstein

The Global Proxy Watch (banner)following is a guest post from Aaron Bernstein. editor of Global Proxy Watch and a Senior Research Fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.

This piece originally appeared in the November 7, 2014 edition of GPW. I reformatted, added the title, graphics and ads. Let’s hope the SEC recognizes Whole Foods Market’s (WFM) sham proxy access proposal for what it is and denies their no-action request. New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and New York City’s pension funds have initiated a groundbreaking campaign to give shareowners the right of proxy access at 75 U.S. companies.  If the SEC grants WFM’s no action request, further progress on proxy access by New York and others could grind to a halt.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading ·

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes