Video Friday: Tipping Off the SEC

Watch the What Happens to Tips (in wmv format) by the SEC’s Sean McKessy, Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower, and/or read the transcript below. As Broc Romanek noted, “for the most part, it provides comfort to the potential whistleblower – until you get to this phrase near the end of the video: “SEC enforcement actions can take years to be finalized.” That is a true statement that may scare off a few folks…” Continue Reading →

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New CEOs: The Diversification of the Corner Office

Sociologists Richard Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff began studying ascendance to the top corporate office 20 years ago and, while the population of CEOs is far from diverse, they report that they have been surprised to see as many women and minorities as they have.  Today there are 80 white women, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans at the head of Fortune 500companies. Continue Reading →

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Indian Mutual Funds Need to Improve Proxy Voting Policies and Practices

India’s InGovern Research Services Pvt. Ltd. “assists financial institutions and investors that have financial, investment or reputational exposure to public-listed companies in India by providing our clients with corporate governance reports, proxy analysis and proxy voting solutions.”  Their recent report, Analysis of Mutual Funds Voting for 2011-12, finds little progress when it comes to mutual funds participating in corporate governance and taking their fiduciary responsibilities regarding proxy voting seriously. Continue Reading →

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Contests: Mining EDGAR XBRL & Research on Lifelong Financial Security

XBRL Challenge

XBRL US announced the 2nd annual XBRL Challenge, a contest to discover the top open source analytical tools that can mine XBRL-formatted corporate financial data from the SEC’s EDGAR database.  $20,000 will be awarded to the top two teams, individuals or organizations that submit the most useful and user-friendly application that conducts innovative analysis of public companies.  The XBRL Challenge is sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the CFA Institute, and WRDS (Wharton Research Data Service)Continue Reading →

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Proxy Access Moves Forward: Forest Labs, Medtronic & H&R Block

The cartoon at left accompanied an article entitled Where are the funds? (Pensions & Investments, 3/5/2012) P&I lamented, “instead of sitting on the sidelines, activist investors should take advantage of the opportunity to file access proposals… proxy access proponents must be adventurous.” We are going to use the key; adventure is on the way.

As I mentioned in my post 2012 Proxy Access Efforts (July 10), Ken Steiner’s proxy access proposals will be voted on at the Forest Labs (FRX) annual meeting, scheduled for August 15th and the Medtronic (MDT) meeting, scheduled for August 23rd. Word came last week; the SEC also refused to grant a no-action letter to H&R Block (HRB), so Steiner’s USPX designed proposal will also be voted on at their meeting on September 13th. Continue Reading →

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