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.
Steve Balet, managing director of Strategic Governance Advisors and Scott Barshay, partner and head of M&A at Paul Weiss, discuss how the C-suite and board should think about, and prepare for, an activist investor.
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.
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.
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.
2019 could be the year of the human, at least where shareholder proposals are concerned. Proposals this year run the gamut, from talent and diversity, to battling plastics and opioids. A snapshot of four human issues making the rounds at annual meetings.
Another proxy season is underway—leaders beware. Although the usual concerns of corporate governance, executive compensation and regulatory disclosures abound, new, specific worries sit under each of those umbrellas. Under compensation, one proxy advisory firm has a new way to evaluate compensation metrics. Within the disclosure realm, the optics of pay ratio disclosure will continue to create flashy headlines in 2019. Approach with caution.
Proxy season is often a showcase of the haves and have nots in the governance realm, with cards stacked mostly in corporations’ favor. Meet the universal proxy ballot, an idea that would level the proxy playing field. Although it’s currently a fledgling idea, watch for this cause to gain momentum.