Shareholders Archive

Feb 18, 2019
Investors focus on board diversity for 2019 proxy season
More than half (53 percent) of investors say board diversity is top of mind going into this year’s proxy season, according to the 2019 Proxy Season Preview report from the EY Center for Board Matters. The survey of more than 60 institutional investors, with combined assets under management of $32 trillion, shows investors are increasingly focused on board composition. This year’s figure of 53 percent saying the issue should be a top board focus is up from a thir...
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Feb 11, 2019
Activists targeted 922 companies in 2018, report finds
More than 900 companies were targeted with activist campaigns last year - and 417 of those were outside the US, according to a new report. The Activist Investing Annual Review 2019, produced by Activist Insight in association with Schulte Roth & Zabel, notes that 922 companies were targeted in 2018 worldwide compared with 856 in 2017. In Canada, the number of companies subjected to activist demands reached 75 in 2018 compared with 56 in 2017. Asia ...
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Feb 08, 2019
The week in GRC: Senators eye share buyback curbs, and Appaloosa urges Allergan to split CEO and chair roles
– The Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Starboard Value said it is making a $200 million investment in Papa John’s International and that its CEO Jeffrey Smith is becoming chair of the pizza company. Starboard also obtained a board seat for Anthony Sanfilippo, former chair and CEO of casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment, now own...
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Jan 31, 2019
Creating a track record of good governance at Splunk
Connie Wu, director of corporate governance and securities at Splunk, is the winner of this year’s rising star award. Wu joined Splunk in 2015 and has already established an impressive track record, including being part of the team that won the 2016 Corporate Governance Award for governance team of the year (small to mid-cap). Wu supports Splunk’s corporate legal functions, with a core focus on corporate governance, stock administration, SEC reporting and execut...
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Jan 30, 2019
GM strides forward on engagement and disclosure
For the General Motors (GM) governance team, the company’s success against Greenlight Capital’s proxy campaign in June 2017 has led to a period of marked progress. GM hired Rick Hansen as corporate secretary soon after its 2017 AGM, and he tasked his team – under the leadership of securities counsel John Kim, securities counsel Robert Boyle and manager for board operations Scott Cross – with developing more innovative proxy disclosure and continuing to impro...
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Jan 29, 2019
How ConocoPhillips’ Kinney drove a successful engagement campaign
Shannon Kinney has what could fairly be called a wide-ranging portfolio at ConocoPhillips – and one that has posed considerable challenges over the past year. She became deputy general counsel for governance, corporate and commercial, and chief compliance officer, in December 2017, and is also the company’s assistant corporate secretary. In addition, she manages a team tackling ConocoPhillips’ legal matters in corporate finance, executive compensation & be...
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Jan 28, 2019
Making HPE’s shareholder engagement best in class
Engaging with a company’s shareholders is an ever-more important task for governance teams, and one that for a growing number of firms involves extensive work beyond the proxy season and AGM. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the winner of this year’s award for best shareholder engagement, shows how far best practices have come. Typifying that, general counsel Rishi Varma explains that the company views engagement as a year-round process, one that involves close...
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Jan 25, 2019
How AMN has enhanced its proxy
Investors are increasingly looking for issuers to communicate their ESG strategy. In the US, the formation of the Investor Stewardship Group (ISG) – which has 34 signatories and 22 endorsers – this year underscores the extent to which this is becoming a mainstream concern. This was certainly the feedback AMN Healthcare received during a round of shareholder engagement last year, particularly during meetings with one of its largest shareholders, Hermes Investment...
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Jan 25, 2019
Why GM’s 2018 proxy hit the spot
General Motors’ proxy statement for 2018 has to be seen in context of what the company was going through in order to fully appreciate the achievement. In 2017 GM faced a proxy contest with Greenlight Capital, with the investor challenging GM’s capital allocation and three board directors. This prompted several governance changes and emphasized GM’s transition from an automobile company to a technology company. Accordingly, the board nominated Devin Wenig, pres...
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