Posts Tagged ‘Precatory proposals’

75% of 2014 Engagements Have Already Produced Agreements to Declassify

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is a counsel at the SRP. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

In a news alert released last week, the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), working with SRP-represented investors, announced the high level of company responsiveness to engagements during the 2014 proxy season. In particular, as discussed in more detail below, major results obtained so far include the following:

  • Following active engagement, about three-quarters of the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies that received declassification proposals for 2014 annual meetings from SRP-represented investors have already entered into agreements to move towards board declassification.
  • This outcome reinforces the SRP’s expectation (announced in a blog post available here) that, by the end of 2014, the work of the SRP and SRP-represented investors will have resulted in about 100 board declassifications by S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies.

…continue reading: 75% of 2014 Engagements Have Already Produced Agreements to Declassify

Toward Board Declassification in 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 Companies: The SRP’s Report for the 2012 and 2013 Proxy Seasons

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is a counsel at the SRP. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

The Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) just released its final report for the 2012 and 2013 proxy seasons, the SRP’s first two years year of operations. As the report details, major results obtained include the following:

  • 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies (listed here) entered into agreements to move toward declassification;
  • 81 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies (listed here) declassified their boards; these companies have aggregate market capitalization exceeding one trillion dollars, and represent about two-thirds of the companies with which engagement took place;
  • 58 successful declassification proposals (listed here), with average support of 81% of votes cast; and
  • Proposals by SRP-represented investors represented over 50% of all successful precatory proposals by public pension funds and over 20% of all successful precatory proposals by all proponents.

…continue reading: Toward Board Declassification in 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 Companies: The SRP’s Report for the 2012 and 2013 Proxy Seasons

Towards Board Declassification at 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 Companies: Advancing Annual Elections in the 2014 Proxy Season

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is the SRP’s Counsel. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

In a news alert released last week, the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) announced the work that SRP-represented investors and the SRP are undertaking for the 2014 proxy season, and the significant contribution that this work is expected to make in moving 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies towards annual elections.

  • 31 shareholder proposals for board declassification have been submitted to S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies for a vote at their 2014 annual meetings (listed here);
  • 7 companies—about one quarter of the 31 companies receiving proposals—have already entered into agreements to bring management declassification proposals to a shareholder vote;
  • These 7 companies are in addition to 8 other S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies that have committed to bring agreed-upon management proposals to a vote in future annual meetings following 2012 and 2013 precatory proposals by SRP-represented investors;
  • The 15 agreed-upon management proposals to declassify, coupled with board declassifications that have already taken place at 80 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies as a result of the work by the SRP and SRP-represented investors (listed here), can be expected to contribute to the wide-scale move toward annual elections; and
  • The agreements already obtained following the submission of 2014 proposals, and the ongoing engagements by the SRP and SRP-represented investors with companies receiving 2014 proposals that have not yet entered into such agreements, reinforce the SRP’s expectation that, as a result of the work by the SRP and SRP-represented investors, close to 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies will have moved toward board declassification by the end of 2014.

…continue reading: Towards Board Declassification at 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 Companies: Advancing Annual Elections in the 2014 Proxy Season

Towards Board Declassification in One-Hundred S&P 500 and Fortune 500 Companies

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is the SRP’s Counsel. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

In a news alert released yesterday, the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), working on behalf of SRP-represented investors, announced the substantial results of the work by the SRP and SRP-represented investors during 2012 and in 2013, the SRP’s first two years year of operations. (The results reported below reflect 2013 outcomes through the end of October 2013.)

As discussed in more detail below, major results obtained include the following (for full details on all outcomes see the SRP’s preliminary 2012-2013 Report released yesterday):

  • 99 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies (see more details here) have entered into agreements to move toward declassification;
  • 79 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies (listed here) have declassified their boards; these companies have aggregate market capitalization exceeding one trillion dollars, and represent about two-thirds of the companies with which engagement took place;
  • 58 successful declassification proposals (listed here), with average support of 81% of votes cast; and
  • Proposals by SRP-represented investors represented over 50% of all successful precatory proposals by public pension funds and over 20% of all successful precatory proposals by any proponents.

Expected Impact by End of 2014: As a result of these outcomes and the ongoing work of the SRP and SRP-represented investors, it is estimated that, by the end of 2013, the work of the SRP and SRP-represented investors will have resulted in:

  • Close to 100 board declassifications by S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies;
  • Declassification of the boards of over 60% of the S&P 500 companies that had classified boards as of the beginning of 2012; and
  • A decrease in the incidence of classified boards among S&P 500 companies to less than 10%.

Below are further details about these substantial results:

…continue reading: Towards Board Declassification in One-Hundred S&P 500 and Fortune 500 Companies

The Shareholder Rights Project’s Mid-Year Update

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is the SRP’s Counsel. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

In a news alert released yesterday, the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), working on behalf of eight SRP-represented investors, announced the substantial results of the work by the SRP and SRP-represented investors during the first six months of 2013, as well as the aggregate impact of their work during 2012 and 2013.

Produced Large-Scale Reforms: As a result of the work of the SRP and SRP-represented investors, 77 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies declassified their boards of directors during 2012 or the first half of 2013. The companies that declassified:

…continue reading: The Shareholder Rights Project’s Mid-Year Update

SRP Mid-Proxy-Season Results: 19 Boards Declassified, 13 Precatory Declassification Proposals Passed

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is Counsel at the SRP. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

This post describes the results produced so far during the 2013 proxy season as a result of the work that the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) has done on behalf of SRP-represented clients. Thus far, this work has already resulted in the following 2013 outcomes:

  • 19 boards of S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies declassified following the adoption of agreed-upon management proposals at 2013 annual meetings; and
  • 13 precatory proposals passed at the 2013 annual meetings of S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies, with an average support of 78%.

Further details about these results (including lists of all the relevant S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies) are provided below. We note that these results add to those obtained during 2012 in which the work of the SRP and SRP-represented investors resulted in:

…continue reading: SRP Mid-Proxy-Season Results: 19 Boards Declassified, 13 Precatory Declassification Proposals Passed

36 Declassification Proposals Going to a Vote in April and May

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is Counsel at the SRP. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

As a result of the work of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) and SRP-represented investors, declassification proposals will be voted on in April and May 2013 at the annual meetings of 36 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies:

  • At 28 companies, agreed-upon management proposals to declassify will be brought to a shareholder vote of approval pursuant to agreements entered into with SRP-represented investors;
  • At 8 companies, where such agreements have not been reached, precatory proposals that the SRP has submitted on behalf of SRP-represented investors will go to a vote.

These 36 proposals are in addition to 9 proposals that already went to a vote and were approved at annual meetings of S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies in 2013 (3 management proposals and 6 precatory proposals), as well as the many additional declassification proposals (both agreed-upon management proposals and precatory proposals) that will go to a vote at subsequent annual meetings.

…continue reading: 36 Declassification Proposals Going to a Vote in April and May

Substantial 2013 Results Already Produced by SRP and SRP-Represented Investors

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is the SRP’s Counsel. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

In its news alert released yesterday, the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), working on behalf of eight SRP-represented investors, announced that proposals submitted for 2013 meetings have already had significant impact. As discussed below, major results obtained so far include the following:

  • Following active engagement, 46 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies that received shareholder proposals for 2013 annual meetings have already agreed to move towards annual elections.
  • These 46 companies represent more than 60% of the companies receiving shareholder proposals from SRP-represented investors for the 2013 proxy season.
  • Together with the 2012 work of the SRP, 91 companies — about three-quarters of the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies that received proposals in 2012, 2013 or both — have agreed to move towards annual elections. The aggregate market capitalization of these 91 companies exceeded one trillion dollars as of March 1, 2013.

…continue reading: Substantial 2013 Results Already Produced by SRP and SRP-Represented Investors

Initial 2013 Annual Meeting Results: Six Board Declassification Proposals Passed with Average Support of 79%

Posted by Lucian Bebchuk, Scott Hirst and June Rhee, Shareholder Rights Project, on Wednesday March 6, 2013 at 9:30 am
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Editor’s Note: Professor Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is Counsel at the SRP. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

Although the 2013 proxy season is still in its early stages, board declassification proposals submitted by the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) on behalf of SRP-represented investors have already gone to a vote at the 2013 annual meetings of six S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies, and these proposals all passed by substantial majorities, receiving average support of 79% of votes cast.

This result continues the strong record of success for SRP-represented investors in 2012, and reflects the on-going strong support for board declassification among institutional investors. The table below provides information concerning these six precatory declassification proposals, all submitted on behalf of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM).

DECLASSIFICATION PROPOSALS GOING TO A VOTE SO FAR IN 2013

Company % of Votes
Cast in Favor
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD) 80.2%
Ashland Inc. (ASH) 82.6%
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) 71.9%
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC) 82.2%
Rockwell Collins, Inc. (COL) 83.0%
Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (VAR) 74.8%
Average: 79.1%

…continue reading: Initial 2013 Annual Meeting Results: Six Board Declassification Proposals Passed with Average Support of 79%

Large-Scale Governance Reforms in S&P 500 Companies

Editor’s Note: Lucian Bebchuk is the Director of the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP), Scott Hirst is the SRP’s Associate Director, and June Rhee is the SRP’s Counsel. The SRP, a clinical program operating at Harvard Law School, works on behalf of public pension funds and charitable organizations seeking to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies, as well as on research and policy projects related to corporate governance. Any views expressed and positions taken by the SRP and its representatives should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University. The work of the SRP has been discussed in other posts on the Forum available here.

In its 2012 Annual Report released today, and in joint press releases issued today with institutional investors it represents, the Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) provided detailed information about the outcomes of its work with SRP-represented investors during 2012, the SRP’s first full year of operations.

As discussed below, major results obtained during 2012 include the following (for complete details on all outcomes see the Annual Report):

  • 48 S&P 500 companies (listed here) entering into agreements to move toward declassification;
  • 38 successful precatory proposals (listed here), with average support of 82% of votes cast;
  • Over 60% of successful precatory proposals by public pension funds and over 30% of all successful precatory proposals; and
  • 42 board declassifications (listed here), reducing the number of classified boards among S&P 500 companies by one-third.

Expected Impact by End of 2013: As a result of these outcomes and the ongoing work of the SRP and SRP-represented investors, it is estimated that a majority of the 126 S&P 500 companies that had classified boards at the beginning of 2012 will have moved toward annual elections by the end of 2013.

…continue reading: Large-Scale Governance Reforms in S&P 500 Companies

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