Recent Blog Posts

October 8, 2018

CalPERS President Rejected by Public Employees for Playing Politics with Savings

In a stunning rebuke of the status quo, Priya Mathur lost her bid for reelection as the president of the board of administration of CalPERS to a police officer who ran on a platform rejecting the pension’s focus on political issues. Mathur will soon be replaced by Jason Perez, who emphasized the need for the ...

October 5, 2018

Proxy Advisory Firms are No Fair Referees

While the proxy advisory firms would have you think they are neutral referees in the proxy advisory game, a new report seeks to differ. This new report from Capital Policy Analytics adds to the voices questioning the current proxy advisory system, particularly its current structure and lack of proper oversight mechanisms. The paper looks at ...

October 4, 2018

New CPA Report Examines the Power of Proxy Advisory Firms

Press Release from Capitol Policy Analytics:  Research adds to pressure on Proxy Advisors following the recent withdrawal of ‘No-Action’ letters SEC to explore the issue in greater detail in November roundtable Financial return is the number one priority for retail investors saving for retirement or a home, but their priorities are less important to some ...

October 3, 2018

ISS and Council for Institutional Investors Swing and Miss in Effort to Slam Main Street Investors

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and the Council for Institutional Investors (CII) yesterday announced the creation of a new public relations campaign to protect proxy advisory firms’ role as the self-appointed regulators of America’s publicly traded companies. While the focus of the campaign is outwardly to push back against H.R. 4015, the Corporate Governance Reform and ...

September 28, 2018

SEC Commissioner Peirce Echoes Concerns of Main Street Investors Coalition

Earlier this week, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce delivered a speech at the 17th Annual Securities and Exchange Commission Conference where she outlined some key issues with Environmental, Social, and Governance investing,  more simply known as “ESG”. Commissioner Hester’s speech aligns with findings from a recent report issued by the American Council on Capital Formation, a ...

September 19, 2018

Fact Check: Commissioner Jackson Wrong on Proxy Advisory Firms

Last week, SEC Commissioner Robert J. Jackson, Jr. issued a statement on shareholder voting riddled with misleading arguments. In the statement, Commissioner Jackson suggested that regulating proxy advisors is not in the shareholders best interest and is, at best, a distraction. He read a similar text at an Investor Advisory Committee Meeting last week.

September 14, 2018

SEC Investor Committee Meeting Highlights Key Issues for Main Street Investors

It’s been a busy week for main street investors. In addition to the Securities and Exchange Committee's (SEC) exciting move to rein in proxy advisors by rescinding two no action letters that underpinned the outsized power and role of proxy advisors, the SEC Investor Advisory Committee also met to discuss improvements to the proxy process and the implications of the rise in passive investing. Comments at the meeting will inform the upcoming roundtable and explore much needed improvements to the proxy process.

September 13, 2018

Ahead of Roundtable, SEC Makes Moves to Rein in Proxy Advisors

This morning, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the withdrawal of two letters that previously underpinned the outsized power and role of proxy advisors. The letters, issued in 2004 to two major proxy advisory firms - ISS and Egan-Jones, enabled proxy advisors to operate opaquely and shielded them from scrutiny over potential conflicts of interest.

September 5, 2018

The Agency Costs of Agency Capitalism and Corporate Law

Agency capitalism refers to the dominance of institutional investors as shareholders of record of the voting stock of publicly traded companies.  They are the ones doing the voting not the retail investors who provide the funds.  Agency capitalism has given rise to new “agency costs” that must not only be addressed by the leaders of public companies, participants in the capital markets and the Securities and Exchange Commission, but also by corporate law.