Pension Fund Charges Netflix With Rigging Executive Bonuses

A federal lawsuit filed in the US District Court in San Francisco accuses Netflix of giving undeserved “sham” bonuses to top executives so that the company could take advantage of a prior tax loophole. The pension fund lawsuit was filed by the City of Birmingham Relief and Retirement System, one of the company’s shareholders. The…

How Long-Term Investors Influence Corporate Behavior

Annotated opening paragraphs of an article on the impact of long-term investors in the MITSloan journal: In his recent letter to CEOs, Larry Fink, CEO and chairman of the mutual fund giant BlackRock Inc., based in New York City, repeated his call for organizations to share their strategies for creating sustainable value. He also added…

BlackRock turns up the pressure on gun makers – Mar. 2, 2018

BlackRock, calling the issue of gun manufacture and sales one of “tremendous urgency,” is engaging with its portfolio companies: It said it has already had “constructive discussions” with some of the companies. It plans to ask gun makers how they’ll deal with the reputation and legal risks associated with manufacturing civilian firearms, and if they…

At BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, ‘Engagement’ Has Different Meanings – WSJ

Sarah Krause writes in the WSJ about large institutional investors’ differing views of “engagement,” noting that they also differ on their analysis of particular engagement/activism opportunities. The biggest passive money managers all like to use some version of the word “engage” when describing how they hold their portfolio companies accountable behind the scenes. They differ on…

Shareholder Concerns About ExxonMobil: Pay, Performance, and Climate Change

VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow writes in Huff Post: I am proud to serve on the board of the shareholder advocacy non-profit 5050 Climate Project, which had a major success last week with the first-ever majority shareholder vote on a climate change-related proxy proposal, at Occidental Petroleum. They also released a major new report this…

Climate Shareholder Resolution at Royal Dutch Shell

Resolution at 2017 AGM of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”), coordinated by Follow ThisShareholders support Shell to take leadership in the energy transition to a net-zero-emission energy system. Therefore, shareholders request Shell to set and publish targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are aligned with the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to…

Shareholder Proxies Could Be the New Regulators – The New York Times

In Sunday’s New York Times, Gretchen Morganson writes about the importance — and opportunities — of shareholder initiatives and engagement on the environment and other issues.  She quotes VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow: Say that the new leaders at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency relax their agencies’ oversight, as anticipated….

New York City pension system to analyze carbon footprint | Reuters

New York City’s $170.6 billion pension system will analyze its carbon footprint for the first time amid concerns of potential investment risks from companies that fail to adapt to climate change, its custodian said in a statement on Thursday.<PTrustees for the five funds that make up the system selected Mercer Investment Consulting LLC to determine…

Leading Investors Launch Historic Initiative Focused on U.S. Institutional Investor Stewardship and Corporate Governance

The Investor Stewardship Group, a collective of some of the largest U.S.-based institutional investors and global asset managers, along with several of their international counterparts, today announced the launch of the Framework for U.S. Stewardship and Governance, a historic, sustained initiative to establish a framework of basic standards of investment stewardship and corporate governance for…

State Street Asks About Sustainability

State Street Global Advisors has written to the board members of its portfolio companies to ask about “issues [that] can have a material impact on a company’s ability to generate returns,” including sustainability. As one of the largest asset managers in the world, we have an important responsibility to the millions of individuals who entrust…