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July 19, 2018

UK Regulator Puts Proxy Advisor Methodologies Under the Spotlight

On July 16, the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published a revised Corporate Governance Code (the Code), explicitly referring to the role of proxy advisors – and a ‘box ticking’ approach to corporate governance and reporting. The Code sets standards of good practice for corporate governance, for all premium listed UK companies. In revising the Code, ...

July 9, 2018

“Shareholder Rights Group” Instead Represents Activist Investment Firms

A group of investors known as the “Shareholder Rights Group” who are largely focused on forcing companies to disclose information and change policies regarding their environmental impact made news last week when they criticized moves by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prevent shareholders from “micromanaging” the companies they own.

July 4, 2018

Fair Representation for American Investors

Independence Day has become synonymous with fireworks, barbecues and other summer traditions. Now that everyone has returned to work following the big summer holiday, it may be worth taking a moment to reflect on what the day actually represents and the reason we commemorate July 4th each year – the adoption of the Declaration of ...

July 2, 2018

Empty Voting by Mutual Fund Advisors Threatens Shareholder Value

Shareholders of a company are usually viewed as a responsible check on the company’s management. They are able to vote on matters that can directly impact a company’s success in the form of shareholder resolutions. The amount of voting influence a shareholder possess is directly proportional to the amount of stock they hold in the ...

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.