Recent Blog Posts

June 29, 2018

Senators, Experts Voice Serious Concerns About the Role of Proxy Advisory Firms

Yesterday, several Senators, including Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA), expressed concern about the lack of oversight that proxy advisory firms enjoy and examined how these institutions may be negatively impacting Main Street investors and small businesses.

June 21, 2018

SEC Commissioner affirms that more needs to be done for retail investors

Today at the annual meeting of the Society for Corporate Governance, SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson emphasized that retail investors need more and better capabilities to be involved in voting on shareholder resolutions. Following Jackson’s opening remarks, which largely centered on the importance of good cybersecurity practices and disclosures to investors, a conference attendee asked the ...

June 19, 2018

Bloomberg TV: Taking Steps to Level the Playing Field for Retail Investors

Yesterday, Bloomberg TV interviewed George David Banks, executive director of the  Main Street Investors Coalition. Banks discussed the necessity of increasing the transparency of proxy advisory firms and the issues with environmental and social proposals. There is a disconnect between the biggest money managers and retail investors, Banks explained: If the average retail investor knew ...

June 14, 2018

It’s Time for Proxy Advisors to Stop Doing Damage to Retail Investors

When it comes to corporate governance, institutional investors have found ways to dominate the debates over what is – and isn’t – in the best interest of any given company’s long-term health. I

June 13, 2018

More Evidence that Institutional Investors are “Distorting” Shareholder Resolutions

The recent success of activist shareholder resolutions on issues usually reserved for the political arena has often been touted by their promoters and the media as evidence investors are now demanding more than financial performance from the corporations they invest in.

June 12, 2018

Concerns About Conflicts at Proxy Advisory Firms Reverberate

Congress isn't the only one paying attention to the proxy advisory firms lately. Last month, Tim Doyle of the American Council for Capital Formation penned a post for Harvard Law School's blog on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation summarizing a recent report he wrote on the conflicted role of the proxy advisory firms. His core finding: Proxy advisory firms are the new “shadow regulators,” and their decisions carry implications for the operations and disclosure requirements of hundreds of companies.

June 8, 2018

New Report Highlights Costs of Politically-Motivated Disclosures

In recent years, shareholder proposals have increasingly focused on politically-charged directives, with many calling for companies to comply with an unprecedented level of new disclosures. These efforts, often aligned with social and environmental issues, lead to often expensive and rigorous review processes for the companies being targeted. And to date, little has been known about ...

June 1, 2018

Six Senators Write Letters to Advance Reform Proxy Advisory Industry

Six senators on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee highlighted concerns with the current practices of the proxy advisory firms, looking for answers to questions about their business models and manner in which firms like ISS and Glass Lewis address conflicts of interest.

May 22, 2018

Leading national associations announce launch of first-of-its-kind investor coalition

Proxy season is underway, and by the time it concludes in June, millions of votes will have been cast for and against thousands of individual shareholder proposals.