Posts Tagged ‘Michael McCauley’

Florida SBA 2013 Corporate Governance Annual Summary

Editor’s Note: Michael McCauley is Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance, of the Florida State Board of Administration (the “SBA”). This post is based on an excerpt from the SBA’s 2013 Corporate Governance Report by Mr. McCauley, Jacob Williams and Lucy Reams. Mr. Williams and Ms. Reams are Corporate Governance Manager and Senior Corporate Governance Analyst, respectively, at the SBA.

The Florida State Board of Administration (the “SBA”) takes steps on behalf of its participants, beneficiaries, retirees, and other clients to strengthen shareowner rights and promote leading corporate governance practices among its equity investments in both U.S. and international capital markets. The SBA adopts and reports clearly stated, understandable, and consistent policies to guide its approach to key issues. These policies are disclosed to all clients and beneficiaries.

The SBA supports the adoption of internationally recognized governance practices for well-managed corporations including independent boards, transparent board procedures, performance-based executive compensation, accurate accounting and audit practices, and policies covering issues such as succession planning and meaningful shareowner participation. The SBA also expects companies to adopt rigorous stock ownership and retention guidelines, and implement well designed incentive plans with disclosures that clearly explain board decisions surrounding executive compensation.

…continue reading: Florida SBA 2013 Corporate Governance Annual Summary

Performance Metrics and Their Link to Value

Posted by Michael McCauley, Florida State Board of Administration, on Wednesday February 20, 2013 at 9:18 am
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Editor’s Note: Michael McCauley is Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance, of the Florida State Board of Administration (the “SBA”). This post is based on a Farient Advisors study, titled “Performance Metrics and Their Link to Value,” which was sponsored by the Florida SBA. The full study is available here.

The State Board of Administration (SBA) sponsored an executive compensation research study by Farient Advisors LLC, covering 1,800 companies, 24 Industry groups, and fourteen years of data (from 1998-2011). The research project identifies the primary metrics used in executive compensation plans, overall and by industry, company size, and valuation premiums, and then tests these metrics to determine whether the metrics being used have the highest impact on total stock returns.

The study provides the most definitive answer to date on a critical question—are companies choosing their long-term incentive metrics wisely for the most sustainable benefit to shareowners?

…continue reading: Performance Metrics and Their Link to Value

Analyzing Global Proxy Voting Practices

Posted by Michael McCauley, Florida State Board of Administration, on Saturday April 14, 2012 at 9:10 am
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Editor’s Note: Michael McCauley is Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance, of the Florida State Board of Administration (the “SBA”). This post is based on an excerpt from the SBA’s 2012 Corporate Governance Report by Mr. McCauley, Jacob Williams and Lucy Reams. Mr. Williams and Ms. Reams are Corporate Governance Manager and Senior Corporate Governance Analyst, respectively, at the SBA.

Fiscal year 2011 witnessed the SBA’s shift from domestic and foreign asset classes, to a combined global equity portfolio, with a heavier international equity weighting and a more balanced U.S. exposure. With the recent structural changes, the proportion of SBA assets invested in foreign equity markets will continue to rise, and a significant proportion may be managed internally. In 1998, for foreign equities was 7.6 percent, rising to 12.7 percent by 2003, and 18.8 percent by the end of fiscal year 2010. Upon completion of the transition to a combined global equity asset class, foreign equities composed 33 percent of FRS assets as of October 2011. As a percent of the equity asset class, foreign shares account for 56 percent and U.S. shares for 44 percent.

Coinciding with this shift, the SBA realigned its international proxy voting practices, bringing foreign voting decisions ”in-house” to match domestic SBA voting practices.

Previously, external asset managers were responsible for voting international proxies associated with SBA shares held in their funds. Since the SBA assumed this responsibility, votes are now cast by SBA staff—based on our own Corporate Governance Principles & Proxy Voting Guidelines and meeting specific research from our proxy research providers.

…continue reading: Analyzing Global Proxy Voting Practices

Florida SBA Supports Proxy Access and Advisory Firm Transparency

Posted by Michael McCauley, Florida State Board of Administration, on Friday April 1, 2011 at 9:01 am
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Editor’s Note: Michael McCauley is Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance, of the Florida State Board of Administration (the “SBA”). This post is based on an excerpt from the SBA’s 2011 Corporate Governance Report by Mr. McCauley, Jacob Williams and Lucy Reams. Mr. Williams and Ms. Reams are Corporate Governance Manager and Senior Corporate Governance Analyst, respectively, at the SBA. The complete report is available here; further information regarding the SBA’s governance activities, including proxy voting data, is available here.

Proxy Access

The SEC passed a new rule which would give shareowners greater “Proxy Access” and an avenue to challenge unresponsive directors. By a 3-2 vote, the SEC gave individual (or groups of shareowners) who held 3 percent ownership for 3 years the right to put candidates on corporate ballots. Shareowners would be able to nominate at least one director and as much as 25 percent of a board. In September, the Business Round Table and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed legal challenges to the rule arguing that the SEC failed to adequately measure the costs imposed on companies. As a result, the SEC put a hold on the implementation of Proxy Access until the legal questions are resolved, with its earliest application occurring in 2012 if it passes the legal challenges.

…continue reading: Florida SBA Supports Proxy Access and Advisory Firm Transparency

Florida SBA Confronts Recent Corporate Governance Issues at Home and Abroad

Posted by Michael McCauley, Florida State Board of Administration, on Saturday March 26, 2011 at 10:13 am
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Editor’s Note: Michael McCauley is Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance, of the Florida State Board of Administration (the “SBA”). This post is based on an excerpt from the SBA’s 2011 Corporate Governance Report by Mr. McCauley, Jacob Williams and Lucy Reams. Mr. Williams and Ms. Reams are Corporate Governance Manager and Senior Corporate Governance Analyst, respectively, at the SBA. The complete report is available here; further information regarding the SBA’s governance activities, including proxy voting data, is available here.

Global Proxy Voting

In 2010, the SBA worked with The Corporate Library to analyze its proxy voting among nine externally managed foreign equity portfolios totaling approximately $9 billion. The vote audit examined a total of 33,729 individual ballot items (proxy voting decisions) across 257 distinct voting categories. The purpose of the foreign equity proxy vote audit was to evaluate the external managers’ voting activities as well as to benchmark those voting decisions against similar SBA votes and those of a major corporate governance research provider. The vote audit examined aggregate voting results, voting by each individual manager, and benchmarked external manager voting against SBA internal voting decisions.

…continue reading: Florida SBA Confronts Recent Corporate Governance Issues at Home and Abroad

Florida SBA Seeks to Use Proxy Voting to Promote Good Governance Practices

Posted by Michael McCauley, Florida State Board of Administration, on Saturday March 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm
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Editor’s Note: Michael McCauley is Senior Officer, Investment Programs & Governance, of the Florida State Board of Administration (the “SBA”). This post is based on an excerpt from the SBA’s 2011 Corporate Governance Report by Mr. McCauley, Jacob Williams and Lucy Reams. Mr. Williams and Ms. Reams are Corporate Governance Manager and Senior Corporate Governance Analyst, respectively, at the SBA. The complete report is available here; further information regarding the SBA’s governance activities, including proxy voting data, is available here.

The State Board of Administration (SBA) supports the adoption of internationally recognized governance practices for well-managed corporations including independent boards, transparent board procedures, performance-based executive compensation, accurate accounting and audit practices, and policies covering issues such as succession planning and meaningful shareowner participation. The SBA also expects companies to adopt rigorous stock ownership and retention guidelines, annually seek shareowner ratification of external auditors, and implement well designed incentive plans. As noted in a recent Fitch Ratings research piece, “Assessing an issuer’s governance practice begins with its board of directors. An independent, active, knowledgeable, and committed board of directors signals a robust governance framework. A board that is not committed to fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities can open the door for ineffective, incompetent, and in some cases, unscrupulous management behavior.”

…continue reading: Florida SBA Seeks to Use Proxy Voting to Promote Good Governance Practices

 
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