ESG Investing - more than just a fashion?

The targets of ESG investors are all worthwhile but do not take much courage. Why not also go after excessive executive compensation or nasty political regimes?
(17-Dec-2018)
ESG groupthink has captured the fund industry

Blackrock suggests improvements to Proxy process

Very thoughtful, but the question remains: how to give the real end-investor the opportunity to influence proxy voting. Should investors - hoders of mutual funds, pension fund beneficiaries etc - be allowed to choose between different proxy advisors (a bit like supporting a political party)? Let us know your opinion on this!
Blackrock comment to SEC
 (11-Dec-2018)

Ghosn's deferred Pay - an isolated case?

The latest instalment from the Executive Pay Series highlights another aspect of over-complicated pay structures. One has to wonder if this was an isolated case. A simple compensation system as favoured by Pro-Governance would help to prevent similar problems.
(27-Nov-2018)
Possible Ghosn Defense: He Didn’t Think He Needed to Report Deferred Pay
(Wall St Journal, PayWall)
 

Pay Revolts - But key question is unresolved

All very well to threaten further investor 'revolts' on executive pay. But apart from the fact that the 'investors' are really only fiduciaries the main question remains unresolved: When is pay 'excessive'? (24- Nov-2018)
Investors tell companies: curb excessive pay or expect more revolts 

Exec Pay ultimately a question of Morality

Where is the limit for Executive Pay?10, 20 or 50 percent of incremental profit, why not? There is NO limit and the 'market' is not functioning - too many distortions.
(21-Nov-2018)
Carlos Ghosn Felt Stars Deserved Big Pay. His Accusers Say He Took That Too Far

Not only Business has a Compensation Problem

Acting attorney general Whitaker earned more than $900,000 at conservative nonprofit

Incentives for the few - Reshuffling deckchairs on the Titanic

Lots of words, but the key aspect of 'Executive' compensation is not addressed: the discriminatory use of ineffective Incentive plans. (12-Nov-2018)
Emerging Practice in Long-Term Plans

Proxy Advisors under the Microscope

The post strongly suggests that the concerns expressed by public companies and industry groups about proxy advisors should not be dismissed. (12-Nov-2018)
Are Proxy Advisors Really a Problem?

Activist Investors - Psycho Terrorists?

Every investor should take an active interest in the companies they hold a stake in. New ideas and suggestions should be addressed to management and all co-investors in an open fashion. Discreet talks between favoured investors and management are close to insider dealing and should be restricted, even prohibited. If fund managers that enjoy numerous legal and tax privileges want to get involved in management of the companies they invest in they should re-register as ordinary companies.
Thyssen-Krupp Chair: Activists close to Psycho Terrorists

Dell: Taking Companies private much too easy

Looks like the author admires Michael Dell. But let's face the hard facts - public equity markets give poor protection to the great unwashed public. Taking companies private is much too easy. And the ultimate insult is when the company makes a round trip and goes public again. A company is an undertaking that should be permanent and only in the most extreme cases it should be allowed to be delisted, taken private (including by Merger, Private Equity). Limit voting for any investor to 1% of outstanding shares, and make any taking private subject to the consent of at least 95% of outstanding shares. No wonder the Rich get richer with this system and gullible institutions just think one share one vote is in their - and the wider public's - interest. Public companies should be protected - they are a public good and allow dispersion of wealth in a true 'shareholder democracy'.
(6-July-2018)
Michael Dell’s rare relish in proving his critics right (FT, Pay Wall)