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…

IRRCi Research Paper Competition 2018

The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) has opened its seventh annual competition for research that examines the interaction between the real economy and investment theory. Practitioners and academics are invited to submit research papers by Friday, October 19, 2018, for consideration by a blue-ribbon panel of judges with deep finance and investment experience. Two…

Netflix Revolutionizes Board Meetings

Beyond PowerPoint — making meetings meaningful, and integrating the board with the company’s operations and executives at Netflix: At most companies, directors have a less complete understanding of the company than executives because of their limited exposure to day-to-day activities. The format of the information they receive does little to overcome this information deficit. The…

CII on Unequal Voting Shares and Index Funds

The Council of Institutional Investors has written an exceptionally thoughtful reply to MSCI on the issue of dual class stock and index funds, in response to MSCI’s Consultation on the Treatment of Unequal Voting Structures in the MSCI Equity Indexes. The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) is committed to the alignment of economic rights and…

Musk hasn’t earned right to earnings-day silence like Buffett, Bezos

VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow is quoted in this CNBC article about quarterly calls. Nell Minow, a Tesla shareholder and well-known investor watchdog, said she is not a huge fan of the quarterly calls. She said they “play into and perpetuate overfocus on both short-term numbers and the relevance of Wall Street analysts who try…

Activist/Impact Investing: Zevin Asset Management

Zevin Asset Management issued a new report about its activist initiatives.  An excerpt (emphasis added): When Congress failed to respond to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the conversation shifted to whether financial companies would act to address risks. In March, Zevin Asset Management joined with other investors to denounce gun violence and define the…

PWC: Board Members 50 and Younger

Board members are often described as “pale, male, and stale,” but that may finally be changing. Wynn Resorts has named three women to its board, including VEA favorite Betsy Atkins, following sexual abuse allegations against co-founder and CEO Steve Wynn. And today PWC is releasing its new “census” of board members who are 50 and…