We recommend a no vote for directors who do not show up at annual meetings without a good reason. Some small investors who want to give a piece of their minds to big tech company directors are losing their only chance: many board members are skipping annual shareholder meetings. Companies that hold meetings online have…

Hermes is turning up the heat on climate change with carbon tool

Hermes Investment Management, the £33.6 billion manager, has been investing in the development of a number of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) tools for its fund managers and engagers to use to make enhanced investment decisions and to better inform engagement activities with companies on ESG matters.Hermes will be launching a carbon tool that allows…

Why Shareholders Should Be Cautious of These KPMG Audits, Despite SEC Assurances

SEC Chair Jay Clayton basically told investors “nothing to see here” when five KPMG partners were indicted for unlawfully using prior knowledge of confidential information from their regulator, the PCAOB. Francine McKenna quoted VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow in an article for Marketwatch: Corporate governance expert Nell Minow, the vice chair of ValueEdge Advisors, said…

SEC Wants Comments on Its Agenda

The Securities and Exchange Commission has published a draft strategic plan and inviting comments. The first goal they list is “Focus on the long-term interests of our Main Street investors.”  The use of this term is a bit mystifying.  The SEC knows better than anyone that most “Main Street” investors entrust their money to financial…

Shareholders Are Not the Problem

Susan Holmberg has a sincere, thoughtful, but occasionally misguided new paper, Economic Inclusion, Finance, and Wealth. The ideology of “shareholder primacy”—the belief that businesses function solely to profit and “maximize value” for shareholders—has had a profound and toxic effect on our economy. Corporate executives used to, in large part, manage companies for the long term,…

Pushing Back on Dark Money

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed a first-of-its-kind executive order Friday to require many state government contractors to report their political contributions, even those to so-called “dark money” groups that don’t have to disclose donors under federal law. Bullock said the measure is an example of how states can bring transparency to spending by groups classified…

The Bogus “Main Street Investors” Group Digs in Deeper

Posted on the Harvard corporate governance blog: A new shareholder advocacy group has been formed, the Main Street Investors Coalition. The Coalition aims to mitigate the adverse effects created by the concentration of shareholder voting power that now resides in the hands of mutual fund advisors. This concentration has developed because of the growing popularity…