AT&T Sneaks Away Voting Rights With Coercive Buyback/Exchange Offer

We’ve got a sense of deja vu here. Back in the early 80’s companies tried to get the NYSE to approve coercive exchange offers of non- or limited-voting stock with a slightly higher return for shares with voting rights. We note that there is already such a security available for anyone who wants to buy…

New Paper: Asset Management, Index Funds, and Theories of Corporate Control

Matthew J. Mallow’s new paper on index funds: This paper seeks to ground the debate around asset managers, index funds and corporate control firmly in the practical context of the operation and regulation of asset managers. Acting on be- half of clients, asset managers are incentivized to monitor companies for long-term performance. As minority shareholders,…

Larker and Tayan Re-Discover the Governance Wheel

Stanford’s David F. Larcker and Brian Tayan have a new paper called Loosey-Goosey Governance: Four Misunderstood Terms in Corporate Governance in which they appear to think they’ve discovered what everyone has understood forever — that there are limits to structural solutions and that checklists of best practices are not especially helpful. We were very clear…

Interview With Ira Millstein — WSJ

One of the founding fathers and true visionaries of modern corporate governance is Ira Millstein. The WSJ asked him for his thoughts on the BRT’s stakeholder statement (he says it is not specific enough) and on the state of corporate governance today. An excerpt: In 1979, the Business Roundtable conducted a series of hearings and…

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…

The Trust Crisis

Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta write about trust as an essential element of a company’s brand and risk management strategy, with Boeing, Volkswagen, and Facebook as examples of corporations that are failing to maintain the trust of customers, regulators, and investors. Trust, as defined by organizational scholars, is our willingness to be vulnerable to…