Toshiba scandal is a moment to stand up and be counted

Brooke Masters writes in the Financial Times about the failures of Toshiba’s corporate governance: Toshiba has had three financial scandals in the past six years, and the government has intervened at least twice to help management fend off investor challenges. If that’s a transformed corporate culture, what was the old one like? Investors have another…

SEC Comment Letter on ESG: Shareholder Commons

We were proud to be among the signers of this comment letter from Shareholder Commons, making essential points about a more wholistic approach to portfolio theory and the role of regulation. The letter is attached in full below. An excerpt [footnotes omitted]: Individual companies financially benefit by externalizing costs and depleting such common goods when…

Companies Spend Big on ESG Investments, Hoping for Long-Term Payoff – WSJ

Companies are racking up hefty bills as they invest in new facilities and products to reduce emissions or meet other targets, hoping for a payoff down the road. Businesses increasingly are coming under pressure from investors, lawmakers and regulators who demand more details on their spending plans and the progress they are making to achieve…

Quit ALEC: 320 Groups Call on CEOs to Quit the Controversial Lobbying Group

Common Cause, Fair Fight Action, and over 300 organizations penned a letter demanding large corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, CenturyLink, Eli Lilly, UPS, FedEx, Oracle, State Farm, Raytheon, Salesforce, Pfizer and others, cut financial ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) over its support of voter suppression legislation throughout the country….

SEC’s Regulatory Agenda Makes ESG and Shareholder Democracy Key Priorities

The SEC’s new Regulatory Agenda includes: Disclosure relating to climate risk, human capital, including workforce diversity and corporate board diversity, and cybersecurity risk Market structure modernization within equity markets, treasury markets, and other fixed income markets Transparency around stock buybacks, short sale disclosure, securities-based swaps ownership, and the stock loan market Investment fund rules, including…

Huge Paydays for C.E.O.s, as Gap With Workers Widened

The New York Times reports on “a blowout year” for CEO pay. Even in a gilded age for executive pay, 2020 was a blowout year. A comprehensive survey of the 200 highest-paid chief executives at public companies conducted for The New York Times by Equilar, an executive compensation consulting firm, revealed some of the biggest…

Agenda – BlackRock Whacks Boards on Compensation Changes

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager and one of many companies’ largest investors, has voted against compensation plans at several large companies this proxy season, including General Electric last week. The asset manager voted against 15% of compensation-related resolutions at its Americas-based portfolio companies that held annual meetings in the first quarter of this year….

Maine $17B Pension Fund Directed To Divest From Fossil Fuels

In a U.S. first, the state of Maine has passed legislation – bill LD99 – directing the $17 billion Maine Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) to divest $1.3 billion from fossil fuels within 5 years and directs the Treasury to do the same with other state funds. The move makes Maine the first U.S. state…