UK’s USS adds to investor disapproval of SEC proxy rule proposals

first_imgA group of large Dutch and Nordic pension investors has also backed this letter, expressing “strong” support for the views it contained.“It is important to remind the SEC that as asset owners we take the final decision on how to vote”“It is important to remind the SEC that as asset owners we take the final decision on how to vote,” added senior representatives of APG, MN and PGGM in the Netherlands, and of Swedish buffer funds AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4.“We have developed detailed custom voting policies and proxy advisors provide independent research that feeds into our independent decision making process,” they wrote in a comment submitted last month.Kempen Capital Management, another Dutch investor, also registered concerns about the rules, calling on the SEC to reconsider them.Unveiled in November, the SEC’s proposed rule amendments, and the lead-up to them, are complex and controversial.For example, the CII has argued that there is scant evidence for claims of errors in proxy advisors’ voting recommendations, which champions of the SEC’s proposals have made. Most of the alleged errors are cases where the company disagrees with the analysis and methodologies, it argues.The association recently appealed for dispute resolution services regarding its request for copies of SEC staff analysis and related documents pertaining to a presentation of data on proxy advisor errors included in the SEC’s November proposal.Konstantin Sergakis, professor of capital markets law and corporate governance at the University of Glasgow, said the objectives of the proposed reform were laudable but that the SEC’s proposals “frame the dialogue with investee companies in a formalistic, stringent and counter-producive fashion”, which would reduce their overall utility and efficiency.The proposals would have negative implications for competition in a market that was already “largely” dominated by two firms, according to the academic.Shareholder resolution ESG brakeUSS also registered its concerns about proposed changes to a rule governing shareholder resolutions, citing their role with regard to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.“If finalised, the SEC’s proposed amendments would in many cases hinder discussion of emerging ESG issues”Patrick O’Hara, senior responsible investment analyst at USS“We consider that such shareholder resolutions have played an important role in encouraging better corporate disclosure on material ESG issues and if finalised, the SEC’s proposed amendments […] would in many cases hinder discussion of emerging ESG issues,” wrote senior analyst O’Hara.A group of 15 of the most frequent filers of shareholder proposals this week argued that the SEC’s “dramatic” proposed rule changes would undermine shareholders’ rights to hold companies accountable for “risk mitigation and crisis management”.“The proposed rule changes would make the path of investor engagement steeper and more convoluted, adding unnecessary costs and red tape, and making it more difficult for investors to foster sustainability, risk management, and governance improvements at their companies,” wrote Sanford Lewis, director of the Shareholder Rights Group in a letter to the SEC.“It would block the most established and effective path for improving ESG disclosure and performance of the market.”The regulator’s proposed rule changes would increase the stock ownership requirements for submitting a resolution and increase the level of support the proposal must have received in order for it to be resubmitted in subsequent years.The Shareholder Rights Group is made up of smaller US asset managers such as Arjuna Capital and Boston Common Asset Management, which have a strong sustainability stance.The deadline for feedback to the SEC is 3 February, which several institutional investors have said does not give enough time. The UK’s largest pension fund has added its voice to those expressing concern about rule changes proposed by the US securities regulator that affect the shareholder voting process.In a letter submitted last week to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the £70.1bn (€78.2bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) criticised a proposed requirement that proxy advisors share advance copies of voting recommendations with companies before passing them on to the investors that are their clients.“In our view, any Commission regulation that has the potential to compromise the independence of the research produced by proxy advisors and impinge upon the agency relationship with institutional investors would be detrimental to the execution of shareholder rights and would be incompatible with SEC’s historic role of investor protection,” wrote Patrick O’Hara, senior responsible investment analyst at USS.Large US institutional investors have been concerned about the SEC’s actions with regard to the shareholder voting process for some time, and O’Hara expressed USS’s support for the views set out in an October letter from the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), a US asset owner association, and a coalition of investors including major US pension funds such as CalPERS and CalSTRS.last_img read more

Delta announces latest expansion to Caribbean

first_img Sharing is caring! Share LifestyleTravel Delta announces latest expansion to Caribbean by: – November 16, 2011 Share Tweetcenter_img Share Image via: righttruth.typepad.comNEW YORK, USA — Delta Air Lines has announced its latest expansion in New York City, with 12 new daily flights to 11 domestic and Caribbean destinations in spring and summer 2012.In March, Delta will add new frequencies between New York-JFK and Santo Domingo and Santiago, Dominican Republic; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Delta also will launch new nonstop service between New York-LaGuardia and Nassau, Bahamas. The new and expanded Caribbean routes will serve significant local demand for flights to those markets.“Our expanded service to these key Caribbean and domestic destinations reinforces our ongoing commitment to our customers in New York,” said Gail Grimmett, Delta’s senior vice president – New York. “With our planned expansion at LaGuardia Airport, and our terminal renovation and expansion at JFK, Delta is continuing to position itself as the preferred carrier for customers traveling to and from New York.”All flights will be operated with dual-class aircraft. Delta also announced introductory one-way fares for its new Caribbean service from New York. Caribbean News Now 30 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

No football Facility to Host Football Tournament.

first_imgNewsSports No football Facility to Host Football Tournament. by: – March 16, 2011 Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Share 36 Views   no discussions President of the football association Mr. Patrick John says not having football fields available for footballers have not only reduced the amount of teams coming from Roseau but has also deathened the opportunity of hosting one of the five football game tournaments in Dominica.He continued to say that he was not against any other games like cricket which has stopped any other games to be played at the Windsor Park Stadium from January to August because of the test matches coming up, but has argued that there should be another facility for games like football, netball and so on. Mr. John says that at least one game should be hosted at home.By: Grace HendersonPhoto Credit: Fifa.comlast_img read more

Dale Earnhardt Jr. still has ‘the itch’ to race

first_imgThat competitiveness, though, is something he credits for making his job in the booth more fulfilling.”The way that I feel about (racing) and the way that I miss it is kind of healthy toward doing the job as a broadcaster,” Earnhardt said. “It makes me excited to go watch the race and excited about what I’m going to see.”The 44-year-old had his growing pains this year in the booth but was happy to learn from his mistakes and will work to get better.”The majority of the feedback that I got was positive, and that spurred me on just to keep digging and keep working and keep doing what I was doing,” he said. “Hopefully that will be enough to keep me around for a while.” Dale Earnhardt Jr. may have retired from full-time NASCAR racing, but that doesn’t mean he never wants to race again.”I have this itch or an urge to go race or run a race or just drive a car somewhere,” Earnhardt said Thursday, via ESPN. “But I don’t have a clear regret or a real urge that’s got to be satisfied.” Earnhardt spent almost the entirety of the season in the broadcast booth with NBC in 2018, but he did find his way onto the track once for an Xfinity race in Richmond.He finished fourth there and looked every bit of the competitor he always has been — he just didn’t quite have the car to come away with a win. Related News Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants to race again in 2019 after finishing 4th in Richmond While Earnhardt has not indicated he wants to get back to racing full time, he would like to get in a car again. Immediately after finishing his Xfinity race in Richmond this year he said just that.”We’ll try to do another one next year, we’ll see where we go,” he said. “We’ll be with Hellmann’s again, and we have to figure out what race that’s going to be.”last_img read more