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June 16, 2019

Calpers’ Dilemma: Save the World or Make Money?

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System was one of the first public-pension systems to tie its investments to social activism. Now it is having second thoughts.

June 10, 2019

Proxy advisers wince in glare of regulatory spotlight

The glare of financial regulators is catching up with the proxy advice industry led by heavyweights Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis.The influential third parties, which advise shareholders how to vote on topics from executive pay to board nominations, have so far avoided direct oversight while appeasing critics by committing to self-regulation. But as the proxy advisers draw in more power they increasingly swim against the tide.

May 23, 2019

SEC Plans to Update Proxy Adviser, Shareholder Proposal Rules

The SEC is looking to update rules for proxy advisory firms and shareholder proposals in the coming months, according to a semi-annual agenda released May 22. The Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t detail how exactly the regulations would change in its agenda, which has more than 40 items set for agency action in the next 12 months.

April 2, 2019

Majority of retail investors back new regs on corporate advisory firms: Study

A majority of retail investors Opens a New Window. want companies to pursue profit-maximizing strategies Opens a New Window. over social priorities, and believe the arcane corporate advisory firms that back those measures should be regulated more strongly by the federal government Opens a New Window. , according to a study published on Tuesday.

March 19, 2019

Companies Call for Oversight of Firms That Advise Shareholders

Companies want the firms that advise shareholders on proxy proposals to face government oversight of their activities, a wish securities regulators are expected to act on as early as this spring.

March 12, 2019

Proxy Advisory Firm Work Looms Large for SEC’s Roisman

Proxy advisory firms are likely to be a top priority for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s point man on revamping corporate America’s shareholder voting system. SEC Commissioner Elad Roisman’s background at the commission and in Congress suggests he may heed corporate calls to add oversight for the advisers, whose voting recommendations to institutional investors play an increasingly important role in the proxy process.

March 8, 2019

How to Enhance the Value of Shareholder Voting Recommendations

In a new article, I discuss how investment advisers like Blackrock, State Street, and Vanguard, can become adequately informed prior to voting their proxies without having to read massive amounts of information about the hundreds or thousands of companies they manage for their clients.

March 6, 2019

NAM Offers Policy Solutions for Proxy Advisory Firm Oversight

Today, the NAM submitted comments to the SEC outlining our proposed policy solutions to ensure that these unregulated firms do not continue to undermine the retirement security of millions of Americans.

February 27, 2019

How the SEC can Help Mitigate the ‘Proactive’ Agency Costs of Agency Capitalism

The understanding that proactive agency costs of agency capitalism exist is nothing new. For example, the SEC Release, Disclosure of Proxy Voting Policies and Proxy Voting Records by Registered Management Investment Companies, the companion release, recognized the agency costs generated when mutual fund advisers are reluctant to vote against a company’s management for fear of losing the company’s retirement business. Even though it was not labeled as such, this type of agency cost falls in the proactive category.