Sustainable Investing Outperforms During Coronavirus | Morgan Stanley

Highlights of the new Morgan Stanley report on ESG investing: In 2020: U.S. sustainable equity funds outperformed their traditional peer funds by a median total return of 4.3%. U.S. sustainable bond funds outperformed their traditional peer funds by a median total return of 0.9%. U.S. sustainable equity funds’ median downside deviation was 3.1% less than…

How Vanguard Looks at Shareholder Proposals

From the Veritas Compensation in Context newsletter, courtesy of John Galloway, how Vanguard evaluates shareholder proposals: We assess each proposal through a fiduciary lens. First we look for alignment with the Vanguard funds’ corporate governance principles in the company’s board composition, the board’s oversight of strategy and risk, executive compensation, and shareholder rights. We then…

Pay gap for U.S. female executives narrows but persists | Reuters

Among companies in the Russell 3000 index, covering most of the investable U.S. stock market, the highest paid women earned 84.6 cents for every dollar earned by male counterparts in 2019, up from 81.5 cents in 2015, according to a paper from researcher Morningstar Inc due out Wednesday. Author Jackie Cook said the narrower difference…

Agenda – What’s Up, Doc? The Number of M.D.s on Boards

The number of physicians on boards shot up in 2020. Some recruiters say this is part of a trend that has been on the rise for the past decade or longer, while others link the jump to the pandemic. In 2020, there were 578 medical doctors on Russell 3000 boards, up from 484 in 2019…

Agenda – Boards Sharpen Tools to Circumvent ‘Ugly’ Clawback Process

In an attempt to sharpen the tools available to boards in the wake of a scandal, companies are amending otherwise standard clawback provisions or looking beyond clawbacks altogether. Indeed, following the MeToo movement, policies were expanded to include for-cause termination, misconduct and, in rare cases, sexual misconduct, as Agenda has reported. That trend has continued,…

Activist Investors Nominate Nine Directors to Kohl’s Board – WSJ

A group of activist investors has a big stake i n Kohl’s Corp. KSS 8.48% and is attempting to take control of the department-store chain’s board, according to people familiar with the matter. A group that includes activists Macellum Advisors GP LLC, Ancora Holdings Inc. and Legion Partners Asset Management LLC, as well as 4010…

How to Increase the Number of Black Board Members – WSJ

Nearly two-thirds of companies in the Russell 3000 index lacked a Black director in 2020, according to data analyzed by Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy adviser. The year before, about 70% didn’t have one. But the recent clamor for greater racial justice and increased investor pressure has convinced many U.S. businesses they need to reshape…

Climate Governance Initiative | World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum has developed a set of Climate Governance Principles for boards of directors, with a view to enabling non-executive directors (NEDs)to gain climate awareness and skills, embed climate considerations into board decision-making, and understand and act upon the risks and opportunities that the climate emergency poses to the long-term resilience and business…

SEC denies J&J request to exclude racial-audit proposal | Corporate Secretary

The SEC has rejected a request from Johnson & Johnson that it exclude from its proxy statement a shareholder proposal that it conduct a ‘civil rights audit.’ Trillium Asset Management, on behalf of Christopher and Anne Ellinger, has submitted the measure requesting that Johnson & Johnson ‘conduct and publish a third-party audit… to review its…

ESG and the Biden Presidency

In a dramatic change from the previous administration, we expect the administration of President Joseph Biden to implement a broad range of policy changes meant to mitigate climate risk and bring the US back into the global sustainability conversation. We will be monitoring several themes that we believe could arise under the Biden presidency: Rising…