SEC Securities & Exchange Commission

Four billion reasons not to fix the proxy plumbing Can the SEC resist the lobbying deluge and restore essential share ownership rights? Since the GFC, regulators have been working to make markets and economies safer. Part of that process has been to encourage market disruption by fostering better competition and increasing diversity. Now it’s time […]

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CEO pay ratio

Corporate governance researcher Equilar has found a median chief executive officer (CEO) pay ratio of 140:1 following an anonymous survey of 356 US public companies. Equilar asked the companies how they plan to report on this in their 2018 proxy statements. In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) passed a ruling that required public companies to report the ratio […]

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New York City climate change

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, has announced that the city has filed a lawsuit against the five largest investor-owned fossil fuel companies as measured by their contributions to global warming. New York will be seeking damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell for the billions of dollars de Blasio said […]

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CalSTRS Jana Partners Apple

Activist institutional investors, the public pension fund CalSTRS and Jana Partners, have begun a campaign calling on the technology giant, Apple, to consider the evidence that children that are excessively using electronic devices, such as its I-phone, may be damaged by this and to support parents to control their usage. In an open letter to […]

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US climate resolutions

Four of the top ten largest asset managers in the US voted in support of a climate change-related shareholder resolution for the first time ever during 2017 research by Fund Votes for the pressure group, Ceres has found. The asset management firms that voted for the first time in favour of a climate-related proposal were […]

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US corporate governance framework

The Investor Stewardship Group (ISG), a coalition of some of the largest U.S. based institutional investors and global asset managers, along with several of their international counterparts, is working with US companies to ensure they comply with its corporate governance framework which takes effect from 1st January 2018. The framework, which incorporates corporate governance and stewardship […]

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shareholder rights

US institutional investors have written to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), following a meeting with the financial regulator voicing their public support for the SEC’s Rule 14a-8 which provides them with the right to put forward resolutions at company meetings. For advocates of the system of non-binding shareholder resolutions or proposals at US company meetings, […]

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Proxy plumbing gets Securities Exchange Commission scrutiny

The chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton has used a speech on governance and transparency at the PLI 49th Annual Institute on Securities Regulation in New York to propose that the regulator reviews the proxy process. Clayton said that the important role the proxy process played in public company governance in the […]

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NACD corporate culture

Although studies have shown that organisations with strong, positive cultures have been shown to outperform their peers and the absence of a healthy culture can create or exacerbate significant risks, the National Association of Corporate Directors’ (NACD) 2017 Blue Ribbon Commission found that US companies are still not taking it sufficiently seriously. The NACD said that […]

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lobbying

Global investment giant Blackrock has spoken out on share voting rights recently. This has become particularly controversial in the US with tech firms giving their founders’ shares preferential voting rights. For example, Snapchat listed on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year without giving any voting rights to the shares being floated. Meanwhile, Facebook, […]

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