Category Archives: Corporate Governance

Board Risk Oversight: Bridging the Corporate-Investor Governance Divide

The TakeAway: New International Corporate Governance Network risk oversight guidelines emphasize joint corporate and investor accountability. Bacon and eggs.  Oil and vinegar.  Peanut butter and jelly.  Corporate and investor governance.  The first three duos are well known, but few appreciate … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Investor Governance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Board Risk Oversight: Bridging the Corporate-Investor Governance Divide

Citizens United: The Aftermath

The TakeAway: This year’s Supreme Court decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates of money in politics, eroding public trust in government as well as shareholder value. “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!” the Marshal of the Court called out today, marking the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sustainability and Good Governance: A Work In Progress

The TakeAway: Two new reports advance convergence of governance and sustainability, but gaps  between formal responsibility and actual performance still need crossing. The rising popularity of the term ESG (environmental, social, and governance) suggests common ground between sustainability and corporate … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Investor Governance | 1 Comment

Power to the People: Mutual Funds and Corporate Reform

The TakeAway: Mutual funds continue to gain power and influence on corporate governance and accountability, which has yet to be fully tapped. Mutual funds are quietly emerging as a key tool for corporate reform, as they bridge populist power and … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Proxy Voting, Public Policy | 4 Comments

Corporate Obligation, Sustainable Development, and Human Rights

The TakeAway: A variety of efforts on policy and regulation work to assure a world economy that is more stable, inclusive, and sustainable, despite occasional setbacks. Last week’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit provided a glimpse into how far we’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Public Policy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Governance Galore

The TakeAway: New York Stock Exchange proposes ten corporate governance principles for management, boards, and shareholders—and suggests the need for regulating proxy advisory services. What comprises good corporate governance and investor stewardship?  These questions continue to pop up as regulators, … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Interactive Technology | 2 Comments

The New Fiduciary: Stewardship and Sensibility

The TakeAway: Changes in financial regulations place new responsibilities on institutional investors, requiring new forms of engagement, education, and behavior. These days, financial and corporate governance reform advocates have concentrated a lot of attention on corporate boards, and for good … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Investor Governance, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing, Web 2.0 | 4 Comments

A Tale of 3 Cities: Key Events on the Sustainable Prosperity Agenda

The TakeAway: An overview of this week’s events on climate change, corporate governance, and fiduciary duty. It’s a busy week for sustainable prosperity, as people journey to New York City, San Diego, and Cambridge to share insights and forge solutions … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Corporate Governance, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing | Comments Off on A Tale of 3 Cities: Key Events on the Sustainable Prosperity Agenda

Drawing Swords: The Battle Over Proxy Access

The TakeAway: As the Federal Register publishes proxy access rules, we survey arguments against shareholder rights. Earlier today, the Federal Register published new rules governing proxy access that will take effect November 15th.  The proxy access rule, approved by the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | 7 Comments

Electoral Politics: We Get What They Pay For

The TakeAway: Three proposals to preserve the integrity of democracy from unlimited corporate political contributions. As angry voters flock to primaries in the first major vote since January’s Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the question of how corporate political contributions … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Electoral Politics: We Get What They Pay For

Turbo-Charged: How Web 2.0 Fuels the Power of Stakeholder Engagement

The TakeAway: CSR stakeholders want companies to use interactive tools for more real-time reporting, responsiveness, and relationship building. We live in a turbo-charged world of instant communication continually bombarding us, but we have yet to grasp the social and psychological … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Interactive Technology, Stakeholder Engagement, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NOTABLE PEOPLE: Bob Monks and the Battle to Change Corporate America

The TakeAway: Bob Monks believes new corporate governance reforms fall short, but digital tools can help advance accountability goals. Robert A.G. Monks has a long history of pioneering work on corporate accountability.  From his tenure as first Department of Labor … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Interactive Technology, Investor Governance, Notable People, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fat Cats & Pink Slips: The Link Between CEO Pay and Layoffs

The TakeAway: CEO pay rises highest at firms that lead in layoffs, says a new report – a bitter pill to swallow in hard times. During this recession, there’s nothing like excessive CEO pay to get the blood boiling – … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Proxy Voting, Wage Gap | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Proxy Access & Shareholder Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion

The TakeAway: New SEC rule allows shareholders to nominate board candidates, a major victory for corporate democracy. Yesterday was historic: the SEC granted shareholders the power to nominate candidates for board director elections.  The 3-2 vote along party lines ended … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Proxy Voting, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fiduciary Failure: Closing the ESG Disclosure Gap

The TakeAway: Flex your muscles, report tells investors, to get better environmental, social, and governance reporting (and practice) from companies. What’s the secret to good corporate governance?  Good investor governance.  That’s why we were delighted by a recent report from … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Investor Governance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“We the People”, Not “We the Moguls”

The TakeAway: Controversial corporate political spending spurs shareholder activism aimed at aligning company values with American values. With election season around the corner, today we question if our democracy, founded on the ideal of representing “We the People”, has been … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Human Rights, Proxy Voting, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “We the People”, Not “We the Moguls”

The Four E’s of Social Media & Sustainability

The TakeAway: Sustainability Leaders Need to Use Social Media to Exchange, Educate, Engage, and Enhance. Social media has exploded within the past few years to become a fixture in our culture.  For example, Facebook’s network has mushroomed to 500 million … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Interactive Technology, Proxy Voting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Human Rights Due Diligence

The TakeAway: Integrating Human Rights Due Diligence into Risk Management May Help Prevent Future Oil Spills and Market Meltdowns We consider the collapse of the global banking system in 2008 as a financial debacle, and the collapse of the Deepwater … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ask Not What You Can Do for GM, Ask What GM Can Do for the Country

The TakeAway: Will the “new improved” GM fulfill its social duties as it prepares for an IPO? “What’s good for GM is good for America”, the old saying goes.  But that’s a misquote.  Former GM CEO Charles Erwin Wilson really … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Rebirth of Wisdom

The TakeAway: Revived British Initiative May Strengthen Board Role in Social and Environmental Oversight We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the UK’s new Coalition Government has quietly exhumed the Operating and Financial Review (OFR), a policy for expanding corporate … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bad Boys, Bad Governance

The TakeAway: Lapses in Personal Ethical Conduct Often Point to Bad Corporate Governance Late last Friday, in case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard fired its CEO Mark Hurd, amidst charges of improper behavior.  Michelle Leder of footnoted.org noted that HP buried … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Board Diversity, Elitism, and Performance: What Works Best?

Part Two of Two Parts The TakeAway: Can Diverse Boards Avoid Pitfalls of Directors Spread Too Thin, And Enhance Performance? Yesterday we described the Mad Men effect on corporate boards sorely lacking gender diversity.  Today, we continue our discussion, placing … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Corporate Boards and Mad Men: We’ve Come How Far?

Part One of Two Parts The TakeAway: Number of Women on Corporate Boards Still Low, Despite Research on Value of 3 or More Women Directors Mad Men is one of my favorite television shows because it captures the style and … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Water: A Human Right

The TakeAway: Intel Affirmed Water as a Human Right Before the UN; Will Other Companies Follow Suit? Water is the driving force of all nature, said Leonardo da Vinci.  Apparently, the United Nations agrees.  On Wednesday, in a nonbinding measure … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SEC Rulemaking: Transparency Is Not Enough

Part Two of Two Parts The TakeAway: Dodd-Frank Provision Reduces SEC Accountability, While Digital Tools Can Transform Transparency into Action Yesterday, as we were writing optimistically about the new SEC transparency and outreach initiatives, a showdown was brewing. The issue: … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

U.S. Boards Lag on Sustainability

The TakeAway: Conference Board Study Says Most US Boards Still Pursuing Random Approach to Sustainability With rapidly changing financial regulations, the emergence of coherent global standards for disclosure, and a record breaking year of sustainability shareholder resolutions, you’d think that corporate … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments