How Funds View and Vote on Shareholder Proposals – Briefing: Governance

Ning Chiu of Davis Polk has some useful data on proxy advisors and fund votes, supporting the conclusion that clients appreciate the analysis of proxy advisory firms but make their own decisions about shareholder proposals: Funds must vote their proxies on behalf of 100 million shareholders in the aggregate and vote based on a range…

ProxyInsight Repudiates Report Claiming Undue Influence of Proxy Advisors

The CEOs behind the fake dark money front groups Main Street Investor Coalition and American Council on Capital Formation have produced a bogus study purporting to show “robo-votes” by professional money managers, alleging they blindly follow the recommendations of proxy advisory firms. Now, in an extraordinary statement, the provider of the data used for the…

‘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,…

Sarah Wilson on the Four Billion Reasons Not to Mess with Proxy Plumbing

Our deepest thanks to Sarah Wilson of Minerva Analytics for allowing us to post her thoughtful essay on the SEC’s proxy plumbing initiative, and for her support in our efforts to keep the Main Street Investors Coalition and their various other corporate-funded fake front groups from spreading disinformation about shareholders and proxy advisors.  Here is…

Fidelity Votes No on GE Pay

Some Fidelity Investments funds voted this spring to oppose the compensation received by General Electric Co. CEO John Flannery and other top GE executives, according to regulatory filings published last week…. Fidelity was in the minority on the pay question. Among GE shareholders, “yes” votes outnumbered “no” votes by a more than 10-to-1 margin. Boston…

In Which We Hear (Indirectly) from Main Street Investors Coalition and Get a Surprising Claim About Their Views on Climate Change

When our post on the SEC Proxy Roundtable was reprinted on the Conference Board’s corporate governance blog, it elicited a response from Main Street Investors Coalition advisory board member Bernard Sharfman, who challenged our assertion that the corporate-funded fake front group led by a former energy industry lobbyist is a climate change denier. We have…

SEC’s New Roundtable on the Proxy Process

  The SEC is scheduling another roundtable on proxy voting — we note the inclusion of matters suggesting the influence of the corporate-funded, lobbyist-led, climate change denying Main Street Investors Coalition, which makes us concerned that the goal of this effort is suppression of votes by institutional investors. The SEC statement: Chairman Jay Clayton July…

The Bogus “Main Street Investors” Group Digs in Deeper

Posted on the Harvard corporate governance blog: A new shareholder advocacy group has been formed, the Main Street Investors Coalition. The Coalition aims to mitigate the adverse effects created by the concentration of shareholder voting power that now resides in the hands of mutual fund advisors. This concentration has developed because of the growing popularity…