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…

No Votes on CEO Pay 2018

As You Sow Rosanna Weaver reports on 2018 proxy season no votes on pay: Not all the votes are in, but there are already a significant number low votes and outright losses among the S&P 500 on pay packages. So far there are seven S&P 500 companies that have lost majority votes that I’m aware…

Index funds must use their huge power over companies, says BlackRock chief Larry Fink 

Giant index funds have enormous clout in shareholder votes and company directors underestimate them at their peril, BlackRock chief Larry Fink has warned.The billionaire investment chief said index funds have long been underappreciated by corporate bosses but are making their power known by increasingly threatening to vote against underperforming directors. “The implicit sanction of a…

Proxy adviser ISS backs call for gun safety report at Sturm Ruger | Reuters

ISS and Glass-Lewis both recommended votes in favor of a proxy proposal calling for a report on gun safety. Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services on Wednesday recommended investors vote to support a shareholder proposal calling for gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co to report on gun safety, which could put new attention on so-called “smart gun”…

Disney shareholders vote against CEO Iger’s pay package

Walt Disney Co shareholders rejected an executive compensation plan that could reward Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger with up to $48.5 million a year over four years plus an equity grant worth about $100 million, in a non-binding vote on Thursday [March 8, 2018].<P><P>The total compensation is tied to the closing of Disney’s planned $52.4…

How are Shareholder Votes and Trades Related?

Rutgers Assistant Professor Sophia Zhengzi writes: Are shareholder votes a sufficient form of voice that catalyzes trades across the board? Are shareholders’ votes and trades correlated? And do shareholders update their trading patterns based on the information conveyed by other investors’ votes? We address these questions by examining the relation between votes and volume at…

Institutional Investor’s Wildly Inflammatory Rhetoric About ISS

The wildly inflammatory headline is belied by the actual text, which is sloppily sourced, vague, and internally inconsistent. Michelle Celarier of Institutional Investor calls ISS “The Mysterious Private Company Controlling Corporate America” but then admits that it has produced a “premium research product” that makes recommendations on proxy contests based on the “least invasive solution.”…

Index funds: cut-price consciences

Following criticism, the likes of State Street, Vanguard and BlackRock are changing tack and bulking up governance teams. Listen to the companies themselves and you might think the days of outsourcing voting policy to proxy advisers such as ISS are over. Glenn Booraem, Vanguard’s head of corporate governance, describes his colleagues as “passive investors but…

Charles Elson’s 2018 Proxy Season Predictions

Forbes’ Christopher Skroupa interviewed Charles Elson of the University of Delaware’s John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance about what we can expect in next year’s proxy season: I think you’re going to see a lot more direct involvement between shareholders and directors than before – whether it’s with a non-executive chair of the board,…

Center for Political Accountability: Rise in Mutual Fund Support for Shareholder Resolutions on Political Contributions

The Center for Political Accountability reports that mutual funds are increasing their support for shareholder resolutions calling for companies to disclose information about their political contributions. Support by mutual funds for the Center for Political Accountability’s corporate political disclosure resolution jumped significantly in 2017, to 48 percent from 43 percent in 2016, according to an…