2 Comments

  1. James McRitchie
    June 6, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

    The real conflicts raised by Naylor and Lincoln are spot on and much more legion. Try blank votes always going to management, phony VIF ballot titles because Broadridge claims laws that apply to proxies don’t apply to ballots sent out to retail shareowners and there is also biased vote reporting. See http://corpgov.net/2013/05/cii-sticks-up-for-retail-investors-on-blank-votes-phony-vif-ballot-titles-biased-vote-reporting/

    Yes, they’re looking in the wrong places and even institutional investors are coming up with the wrong answers. See Officials tell House panel proxy advisers need to be registered at http://www.pionline.com/article/20130605/DAILYREG/130609949/officials-tell-house-panel-proxy-advisers-need-to-be-registered#disqus_thread

    If, and I do mean if, ISS provides better proxy voting advice, it sure isn’t because they are registered investment advisers. Frankly, I believe more competition would help. I’d also like to see shareowners experiment with a new model, such as my recent proposal filed at Cisco. http://www.votermedia.org/prop

    The subscription model of ISS and Glass Lewis means they can only spend a very limited amount of time analyzing each proxy because they must review and report on thousands. A proxy advisor competition could open up the process to advisers spending much much more time, getting away from anything like a checkbox approach.

    Instead of the advice going to the very few (proportionately) shareowners who subscribe to such services, it would be available to all shareowners. We might even get proxy advise from firms specializing in specific industries… much more knowledgeable about the issues and how they impact corporate governance.

    As a former regulator who very much believes in regulations, they are not the answer for every problem. Let’s try more competition first.

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