Last year was a good year to be an activist; not so much to be a company on the receiving end of a campaign. The wave of shareholder activism last year had corporate leaders on edge.
It’s not a secret that activist hedge funds may not represent the interests of a company’s shareholder base. But a report from Institutional Shareholder Services shows that they don’t look like them, either.
In the fight against shareholder activism, Facebook won. At least for now. Activists pushed the company to split the chairman and CEO role for Mark Zuckerberg, who holds both titles and has come under a barrage of criticism over his handling of security and privacy issues in the last year.
Every year, growing companies consider exploring public markets, where they can find the huge benefit of immediate access to capital. But taking that step also can be a large expense, and it can change the way companies operate, what management teams focus on and how autonomous they are. Senior executives making decisions about going public have a lot to think about.
Everyone on your board knows who the weak link is. Maybe it’s someone who has a spotty attendance record. It could be the person that doesn’t read the board notes but shows up for the coffee and schmoozing. You know who he is (& likely it is a he because 76 % of U.S. board seats are held by men, according to Spencer Stuart). Yet, even when boards conduct an annual evaluation the weakest board member remains on the board of directors. Why?
Companies and boards should consider a public outrage as a potential risk to their reputation and operations, and prepare a crisis management response playbook.
“There is only one god, and His name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: ‘not today’.” If only it were that easy for reporting companies to reply to the SEC on regulations. Imagine Bezos to Clayton: “Not today.” Because company leaders don’t have the Game of Thrones option, the best option out there is to watch out, read up, and prepare for the biggest regulatory issues and how they might impact your organization.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee voted to ask the SEC to investigate whether public companies should be required to disclose information around the idea of human capital management. Analysis is underway. While it won’t impact you this proxy season, here’s what you need to know.
The current state of M&A activity contradicts predictions made in 2018. Back in December, countless articles predicted a slowing economy would lead to a slow down in M&A but as recession fears have receded, M&A has continued its hot streak.
Like your favorite suit, sustainability reporting is not new, but it looks good on your organization. Ninety-five percent of companies in the Global 250 issue a sustainability report, an issuance that is now widely considered a best practice.