On Governance: 2019 Proxy Season was Huge for E&S Proposals

From the Conference Board: For the third year in a row, environmental and social (E&S) proposals are most of all shareholder proposals filed (political spending resolutions have increased in advance of the 2020 presidential elections). Voluntary withdrawals of shareholder proposals have been increasing and in 2019 close to half of E&S proposals were withdrawn after…

SEC to Give Oral No-Action Letters

The SEC has announced that it will not put all of its rulings on shareholder proposals in writing. Some rulings will be oral only. Needless to say, since the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Mesopotamia, the idea has been that it is a good thing to have the rules in writing so that everyone knows…

The SEC should not limit the right of investors to sponsor shareholder resolutions: Guest Post from Timothy Smith, Walden Asset Management

The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has just announced its plans to present a revised Rule that will limit the ability of investors to file shareholder resolutions for votes at company stockholder meetings. This comes amidst a concerted effort by certain business groups to sharply limit shareholders’ ability to exercise these rights as owners of…

Building a Climate Change Voting Policy

The high percentage of withdrawn proposals in the U.S. signifies a positive development for climate change risk-aware investors, as companies appear more willing to engage and disclose information that satisfies the original proponents. That said, proposal filings and the agreements that lead to proposal withdrawals reflect the specific views and requests of the filer. For…

UAW Proposal on Clawbacks Endorsed by Mylan Shareholders 

In a non-voting discussion item, shareholders supported a proposal by the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust for Mylan to strengthen its clawback policy for senior executive incentive pay.The executive compensation vote is called Say on Pay. In its proxy statement, Mylan said,  “Although advisory and not binding, the Compensation Committee and the board…

Jesuits Get Majority Vote at Private Prison Company

The Jesuits West Province recently helped pass a shareholder resolution to hold GEO Group, one of the largest for-profit prison and detention center operators in the U.S., accountable for human rights and treatment of detainees. Working in partnership with investors and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the Jesuits requested that GEO…

UCF Leads a Resolution that Generates 79.7% Support from Shareholders « United Church Funds

United Church Funds (UCF) is celebrating the very successful campaign at pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt, where a resolution that UCF sponsored on lobbying disclosures generated 79.7% support from the company’s shareholders.United Church Funds and Investors for Opioids Accountability (IOA) members congratulate Mallinckrodt for supporting the shareholder proposal regarding a report on lobbying activities and agree with…

Amazon faces an enormous slate of shareholder proposals for the first time – CNN

Amazon received more resolutions than any other company this year, according to a count by Alliance Advisors. Although a few were either withdrawn by their proponents or excluded with the permission of the Securities and Exchange Commission, shareholders still will vote on 12 measures at Amazon’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, on issues ranging from…

Despite SEC Action, Shareholders Push ExxonMobil for Progress on Climate Change

They can run, but they can’t hide. Efforts by ExxonMobil to squelch shareholder initiatives on climate change have led to escalation, including a high-visibility call to withhold votes for the nominees for the company’s board. Directors at Exxon Mobil Corp. are facing a withhold campaign from two institutional shareholders alleging the energy company has failed…

Catholic Shareholder Activists Challenge Private Prison System | Sojourners

A shareholder proposal from a Catholic group has led to an agreement from the management and board of a corporation that operates private prisons. But the proponents are not sure how significant that agreement will be. These findings were detailed in “Proposal 4” on the proxy statement that GEO published ahead of the shareholders meeting….