Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  



Shareholder activism: James Copland on 'This Week in the Boardroom'

| No Comments

James Copland, director of Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy discussed the release of Proxy Monitor 2012: A Report on Corporate Governance and Shareholder Activism on NYSE-Euronext's This Week in the Boardroom, a weekly on-demand webcast program "designed to educate board members and C-suite executives on topics/issues that impact their operational and strategic decisions." Reviewing the recently expanded ProxyMonitor.org database of shareholder proposals from Fortune 200 companies, Copland revealed that almost all shareholder proposals are being sponsored by a small number of investors, predominately labor union pension funds and social/religious activists, whose motivation appears to deviate from concern over share value. Copland also finds that the proxy advisory firm ISS substantially influences shareholder votes but that its recommendations are systematically biased toward shareholder proposals, relative to shareholders' actual voting patterns.

Overall, Copland finds that the shareholder proposal process may be oriented toward influencing corporate behavior in a manner that generates private returns to a subset of investors while harming the average diversified investor, which amplifies concerns about whether shareholder proposal voting is an effective tool for improving share value.

Additionally, the Manhattan Institute hosted an event for the release of the report featuring many prominent corporate governance experts including Harvey Pitt, former chairman of the SEC, and Paul Atkins, former commissioner of the SEC.

Leave a comment

Once submitted, the comment will first be reviewed by our editors and is not guaranteed to be published. Point of Law editors reserve the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any and all comments. They also have the right to block access to any one or group from commenting or from the entire blog. A comment which does not add to the conversation, runs of on an inappropriate tangent, or kills the conversation may be edited, moved, or deleted.

The views and opinions of those providing comments are those of the author of the comment alone, and even if allowed onto the site do not reflect the opinions of Point of Law bloggers or the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research or any employee thereof. Comments submitted to Point of Law are the sole responsibility of their authors, and the author will take full responsibility for the comment, including any asserted liability for defamation or any other cause of action, and neither the Manhattan Institute nor its insurance carriers will assume responsibility for the comment merely because the Institute has provided the forum for its posting.

Related Entries:



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.