WeWork IPO Struggles with Valuation and Governance Concerns

Since We filed the prospectus for its initial public offering last month, it has been besieged with criticism over its governance, business model and ability to turn a profit. It is now expecting an IPO valuation as low as a third of the $47 billion sticker price it garnered in a January funding round—a drop…

So who in sustainable finance is going on climate strike this Friday? RI looks at who is downing tools for the environment. – Responsible Investor

Starting this week from September 20-27 students around the world are taking to the streets to demand more effective climate action – and they want the adults to join them. Unions and NGOs are pledging to bolster the numbers. But there’s one sector that’s notably absent: finance….What’s behind the reluctance? Preventable Surprises’ Raj Thamotheram says…

Investor Letter to the SEC on 14a-8: Shareholder Proposals

ValueEdge Advisors is proud to be a signer of this letter to the SEC about the importance of preserving an accessible and meaningful shareholder proposal rule. The SEC’s job is to protect investors and maintain well-functioning markets. Thus, we urge the SEC to protect the market mechanism tools available for shareholders to ensure that companies…

Board independence revealed as key issue for investors in 2020

Two interesting things about this. First is the increased interest in independent board chairs in Europe. And the second is that for the umpteenth time we again see that ISS follows the customers at least as often as the other way around. The independence of company chairs in Europe could figure heavily in the deliberations…

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 Voluntary withdrawals of shareholder proposals have been increasing and in 2019 close to half of E&S proposals were withdrawn after…

Big US sustainable funds fail to support ESG shareholder proposals | Financial Times

Big US fund managers that have promoted their credentials in tackling sustainability issues have done little to support environmental and social shareholder proposals, their voting records reveal. During the 2019 shareholder voting season, funds labelled by BlackRock, JPMorgan Asset Management and Vanguard as sustainable frequently sided with a company’s management and against shareholder proposals on…

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…

SEC Investor Advisory Committee Recommendations on Proxy Plumbing

The SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee, established under Section 911 of Dodd-Frank (membership listed below), has submitted recommendations on improving the byzantine and jury-rigged proxy plumbing system. Their summary:  The SEC should require end-to-end vote confirmations to end-users of the proxy system, potentially commencing with a pilot involving the largest companies;  The SEC should…