SEC committee discusses multi-class common with unequal voting rights
by Cydney Posner An interesting topic of discussion at a meeting last week of the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee was “unequal voting rights of common stock” — the trend over the last decade (plus) for a small number of IPO companies, particularly tech companies, to offer low-vote or, more recently, no-vote […]
McKinsey study suggests alliances with sophisticated long-term investors can help blunt corrosive effects of short-termism
by Cydney Posner In this study, consulting firm McKinsey raises the question of why so many companies seem to be ensorcelled by their short-term investors, which own only about 25% of the shares of U.S. companies, while failing to address — or perhaps even understand — the needs of their long-term […]
BlackRock CEO’s annual letter asks companies to address impact of changes in global environment
by Cydney Posner This year, in his annual letter to corporate CEOs, Laurence D. Fink, CEO of asset manager BlackRock, challenges companies to address the impact of significant political, economic, societal and technological changes on their current strategies for long-term value creation: “As BlackRock engages with your company this year, […]
KPMG surveys audit committee concerns
by Cydney Posner What are audit committee members’ greatest concerns? Audit committee members participating in KPMG’s 2017 Global Audit Committee Pulse Survey identified risk management as the biggest challenge for audit committees in 2017, with 42% of those surveyed characterizing their existing risk management programs as requiring “substantial work,” and […]
Is there a fix for short-termism?
by Cydney Posner Much has been written about the problems associated with the prevalence of short-term thinking in corporate America. As noted in a post from The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, a recent academic study revealed that “three quarters of senior American corporate officials […]
Is a proxy contest preferable to a quick settlement with activists? Some institutional investors think so
by Cydney Posner The obvious tension between the interests of long-term investors, such as institutional shareholders, and short-term investors, principally represented by hedge fund activists, has been the subject of much discussion of late. Some observers have claimed, as argued in this NYT DealBook column, that the idea behind the financial […]
How did corporate boards become afflicted with economic ADHD?
by Cydney Posner A lot has been written about the impact of short-termism on the US economy. (See, for example, this PubCo post, this PubCo post and this PubCo post) This post from The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, “How Economic Attention Deficit Disorder Infected […]
Could disclosure avert a decline in investment in human capital?
by Cydney Posner Much attention has been paid to the decline in spending on R&D and capital investments attributed to short-termist myopia. Hedge fund activists have been impugned for pressuring companies to return capital to shareholders in the form of buybacks and dividends at the expense of funding R&D and […]
BlackRock CEO asks companies to provide board-approved strategic framework for long-term value creation
by Cydney Posner While Laurence D. Fink, co-founder and chief executive of BlackRock, has been decrying short-termism for a number of years, in his 2016 corporate governance letter to CEOs, he takes his advocacy a step further. According to this DealBook column, the letter was sent to 500 chief executives late […]
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