ISS: 2020 Climate Policy Proxy Voting Guidelines

ISS has released its new climate policy recommendations for voting proxies. The full text is below. An excerpt: Sustainability Reporting The concept of sustainability is commonly understood as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Indeed, the term sustainability is complex and poses…

Shareholder Proposals 2019—ESG No-Action Letter Trends and Strategies

Shareholder proposals relating to ESG matters are frequent targets for exclusion by companies, and based upon a survey of the no-action letters submitted during the 2019 proxy season, this trend continues. Over 40% of the no-action letters we reviewed for the 2019 proxy season related to a variety of ESG matters, and the arguments and…

Doug Chia: Love (of Shareholder Democracy) in a Time of Corona

Doug Chia on his Soundboard Governance blog writes about annual meetings in the time of COVIC-19. I have to push back hard on my friends in the corporate governance community who are advocating for hybrid annual meetings as the floor of how to mitigate the risks and fears of the spread of Covid-19. We always…

BlackRock stands by climate priorities, sees tougher shareholder votes – Reuters

Michelle Edkins, BlackRock’s (BLK.N) global head of investment stewardship, said in an interview on Tuesday that the pandemic is consuming corporate attention but indicated that BlackRock will not cut company directors slack as it decides whether to back their re-election. BlackRock will continue to judge whether boards have made progress against goals BlackRock has touted…

VEA’s Second Supplemental Comment to the SEC on Proposed Proxy Advisor Rule

A second supplemental comment, reflecting new information and responses to some of the other comments: 1. Further Evidence that Corporate Claims of Zombie “Robo-Voting” are Bunk: We have noted previously that assertions that fund managers “robo-vote” are unsupported and contrary to the data. The findings of a new study by Lily Tomson of ShareAction prove…

SEC’s New Rules Undermine Shareholder Rights – Bloomberg

Yale’s Jonathan Macey on the SEC’s proposed rule on proxy advisors: It is indeed strange that the SEC, whose mission is to protect investors, is putting its thumb forcefully on the scale in favor of companies and against investors. Its proposal would land a one-two punch against corporate democracy and freedom of speech. Not only…

Teamsters take aim at executive bonuses at drug distributor AmerisourceBergen

The Teamsters are asking for a hold on AmerisourceBergen CEO’s pay due to pending liability for the company’s involvement in opioids. nvestors are exposed to those costs, the Teamsters say. And they argue that a bonus deferral program is a “critical” accountability measure that would give the company’s board a longer horizon to decide whether…

Has ESG Gone Mainstream?

A new report from Ethical Corporation argues that ESG’s rapidly increasing acceptance is based on understanding that it is about managing risk. “ESG will become much more a part of mainstream investing over the next ten years,” says Carlo Funk, EMEA head of ESG strategy at State Street Global Advisors. “It will move from being…

Campaign contributions pay off for Ohio utilities and coal interests

Utility, nuclear and coal interests are big players in Ohio politics, giving about $3 million to Ohio political campaigns in 2018, according to data from the National Institute on Money in Politics. The industry interests have long been active politically. But just as competitive markets began coming into their own around 2010, the pattern of…