SpencerStuart Board Index 2018

The 2018 SpencerStuart Board Index has been released. Some of the highlights: S&P 500 boards appointed 428 new directors during the 2018 proxy year, the most since 2004 and an increase of 8% from 2017. » 57% of boards added at least one new director. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the incoming class come from outside…

Buyback Cannibalism Was the Final Death Blow to Sears

Would $6 billion in cash have kept Sears out of bankruptcy? It sure wouldn’t have hurt. Sears’ ability to stay in business is in doubt after the company filed for bankruptcy protection this month. Yet Sears spent $6 billion buying back its own shares since 2005 in a futile effort to help support its stock…

MSCI indexes will not restrict stocks that deny shareholders a vote | Reuters

Index provider MSCI Inc (MSCI.N) said on Tuesday it would allow companies that give shareholders unequal voting rights to remain on its current equity indexes, backing down from an earlier proposal that would have reduced exposure to such companies.But MSCI, whose indexes guide hundreds of billions of dollars in assets, said it would launch a…

A.G. Underwood Files Lawsuit Against Exxonmobil For Defrauding Investors Regarding Financial Risk The Company Faces From Climate Change Regulations  | New York State Attorney General

Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corporation (“Exxon”), alleging that the company misled investors regarding the risk that climate change regulations posed to its business. As alleged in the complaint, Exxon for years assured investors that it was accounting for the likelihood of increasingly stringent regulation of greenhouse gas…

Public Sentiment and the Price of Corporate Sustainability – Working Paper – Harvard Business School

Combining corporate sustainability performance scores based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data with big data measuring public sentiment about a company’s sustainability performance, I find that the valuation premium paid for companies with strong sustainability performance has increased over time and that the premium is increasing as a function of positive public sentiment momentum….

‘Quiet diplomacy’ the weapon of choice for passive funds | Financial Times

About a fifth of the freely traded shares of the US equity market are now owned by index-tracking funds and passive institutional mandates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. This underlines the vital role played by the three largest managers in this space — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street — in policing corporate standards.Larry Fink,…