How Funds View and Vote on Shareholder Proposals – Briefing: Governance

Ning Chiu of Davis Polk has some useful data on proxy advisors and fund votes, supporting the conclusion that clients appreciate the analysis of proxy advisory firms but make their own decisions about shareholder proposals: Funds must vote their proxies on behalf of 100 million shareholders in the aggregate and vote based on a range…

ProxyInsight Repudiates Report Claiming Undue Influence of Proxy Advisors

The CEOs behind the fake dark money front groups Main Street Investor Coalition and American Council on Capital Formation have produced a bogus study purporting to show “robo-votes” by professional money managers, alleging they blindly follow the recommendations of proxy advisory firms. Now, in an extraordinary statement, the provider of the data used for the…

Minerva Analytics: Comment on SEC Proxy Roundtable

From Minerva Analytics’ comment to the SEC for the Proxy Roundtable (link to the full comment below): We note the activities of the immensely vocal, but narrow, anti-ESG and governance lobby which continues to ignore and disrespect the beliefs and preferences of capital providers. Investors use governance research and vote execution services to legitimately help…

Business Reaches a Turning Point – The New York Times

Once again, the business case for ESG/SDG: Over the course of a day of conversations with some of the top executives in the nation during last week’s conference — DealBook: Playing for the Long Term — a common refrain was heard, echoing the sentiments of Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the largest investor in…

Morningstar slams hidden backers behind anti-ESG campaign | Portfolio Adviser

Jackie Cook speaks to Portfolio Advisor about the CEO funded fake dark money front group, Main Street Investors Coalition. Their claim to “represent” individual investors is, as we’ve pointed out many times, completely bogus as not one single actual advocate for investors has endorsed or joined them. Morningstar has slammed an anti-environmental, social and governance…

ISS Comment Letter to the SEC on the Proxy Process

ISS has filed its comment letter for the Proxy Roundtable with the SEC. Some highlights: They respond to those who claim that proxy advisors are not regulated and those who claim they control the proxy voting decisions of their clients: “As a registered investment adviser, we have a fiduciary obligation to our clients to provide…

Heidrick & Struggles Takes Action with Board Diversity Pledge Globally

Search firm Heidrick & Struggles has announced that on an annual basis at least half of its cumulative slate of initial board candidates presented to clients will be diverse, reaffirming a commitment to promoting diversity in board of director searches globally. Developed in collaboration with Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Heidrick & Struggles’ pledge is designed…

SpencerStuart Board Index 2018

The 2018 SpencerStuart Board Index has been released. Some of the highlights: S&P 500 boards appointed 428 new directors during the 2018 proxy year, the most since 2004 and an increase of 8% from 2017. » 57% of boards added at least one new director. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the incoming class come from outside…