Proxy Advisory Firms Release First Reports on Latest Best Practices

For the first time, six of the world’s most influential shareholder voting research and analysis firms (better known as “proxy advisors”), which help institutional investors vote shares at stock-exchange-listed companies worldwide, have each publicly released reports showing how they comply with the latest industry Best Practice Principles. Proxy advisors have been a target of corporate…

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…

Proposed Legislation to Give Pension Plan Participants Proxy Voting Authority

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has proposed new legislation that would reverse a final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor to limit retirement plans from voting on corporate proxies and undermine workers’ voice in the public companies where they invest. In August, Trump’s Labor Department proposed a rule to discourage ERISA plans from voting their…

CII Letter to DOL/EBSA on the Proxy Voting Proposal

The Council of Institutional Investors has filed a comment objecting to the proposed rule form DOL/EBSA on proxy voting by ERISA fiduciaries. The full comment is below. An excerpt [footnotes omitted]: DOL has not provided a persuasive rationale for the Proposed Rule. In fact, the Proposed Rule is premised on fundamentally flawed assumptions about shareholder…

VEA Comment to DOL/EBSA on Proxy Voting

October 2, 2020 Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson Acting Assistant Secretary Employee Benefits Security Administration United States Department of Labor 200 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20210 RE: RIN 1210-AB91 Dear Acting Assistant Secretary Wilson, In the long, dismaying history of regulatory capture, when agencies set up to provide oversight instead issue rules entrenching and subsidizing corporate insiders,…

Kurt Schacht: The Labor Department Is Tearing Down a Landmark of Investor Protection

Kurt N. Schacht, head of policy for the CFA Institute and former chair of the SEC Investor Advisory Committee. writes in Barron’s: Corporate governance and shareholder rights have seldom witnessed an assault on investor protection like the current federal government’s onslaught. Whether weakened rules on broker accountability, rules designed to eliminate shareholder proposals, or those…

VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow Quoted in P&I About the DOL/EBSA Proposal on Proxy Votes

P&I’s above the fold front page headline is “Proxy proposal angers institutions”. VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow is quoted: “It’s just a reflection of the fact that institutional investors have become more aware of corporate governance as an element of shareholder value and corporations don’t like that,” said Nell Minow, Washington-based vice chairwoman of ValueEdge…