DOL Proposal to Weaken Fiduciary Standards

Fact sheet from the Consumer Federation of America: On June 29th, the Trump Administration rolled out a new regulatory package for retirement investment advice that, if finalized, would allow brokers and insurers to siphon billions of dollars a year out of the retirement accounts of hard-working Americans, putting their ability to afford an independent and…

SEC Report: U.S. Investors’ Exposure to Domestic Chinese Issuers

The accounting fraud at Lukin Coffee is just the latest reason to raise concerns about investment risks in Chinese companies. The SEC has issued a new report that includes the exposure of the biggest pension funds in the UA. Excerpts here (footnotes omitted), full report below. More than 150 China-based companies with a combined market…

Key ESG Themes in a Post-COVID-19 World — Barclays

Barclays predicts the acceleration and standardization of ESG investing and operations due to the impact of COVID-19. Highlight those companies committed to high ESG standards Accelerate sustainability trends like remote schooling and reduced travel Encourage governments to ‘green’ the recovery – e.g. ESG-contingent bailouts Digitize shareholder engagement – e.g. virtual Annual General Meetings The 2400…

Henry Ford III Is Rising to Top of Dynasty in Deep Trouble

VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow is quoted about the corporate governance concerns relating to family control of Ford Mother Company. The arrangement once again came under scrutiny at the annual meeting. A shareholder proposal to strip the family of its special class of stock and go to a one-share, one-vote arrangement garnered 35% support, up…

Nuns revolt over virtual AGM snafus

Earlier this week, more than 37 per cent of investors voted against Standard Life Aberdeen’s proposal to convene future shareholder meetings remotely, marking the first significant revolt against a virtual shareholder meeting by a UK company this year. In the US, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, whose members include frequent shareholder proposal filers such…

Hertz (HTZ) Seeks $70M in Clawbacks Tied to Accounting Scandal – Bloomberg

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is demanding that ex-Chief Executive Officer Mark Frissora and other former senior managers return at least $70 million of incentive compensation for their roles in an accounting scandal five years ago. Mark FrissoraPhotographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg The car-rental chain accused the former executives of pressuring employees to use fraudulent accounting techniques to…

The Insidious Vocabulary of CEO Compensation

As you can imagine, a lot of energy and creativity is going into figuring out how to make sure executives do not lose their bonuses because of COVID-19 economic uncertainty. We are watching this closely as it subverts the entire concept of incentive compensation if it is all upside and no downside. Incentive compensation is…

Supplemental Comments on SEC Proposed Rules: Proxy Advisors and Shareholder Proposals

ValueEdge Advisors has submitted two more supplemental comments on the SEC’s proposed rules on proxy advisory firms and shareholder proposals. We are grateful to James McRitchie for giving us permission to include his excellent research on the support for governance-related shareholder proposals. The full text of both comments are linked below. SEC supplemental comment on…