July 30, 2010

House Financial Services Committee Endorses Shareholder Votes on Political Spending

On Monday, I blogged about how a movement towards shareholder approval of political spending was gathering steam. Yesterday, as Ted Allen blogged in ISS’s Insight Blog, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill introduced by Rep. Michael Capuano – by a vote of 35-28 – that would require companies to obtain investor approval before spending more than $50,000 per year in general corporate funds on political activities. We’ll see if this goes anywhere…

Survey Results: Director Education/Orientation

We have posted the results from our recent survey regarding director education & orientation, repeated below:

1. Does your board require directors to obtain continuous education:
– Yes – 15.2%
– Not anymore, we removed the requirement over the past year – 6.1%
– Never did require it – 78.8%

2. If you answered “not anymore” or “never” above, does your board encourage directors to obtain continuous education:
– Yes – 77.8%
– No – 14.8%
– Not yet, but it’s under consideration – 7.4%

3. Do any of your directors obtain – or will obtain during the next year – continuous education by:
– Third-party director colleges – 46.9%
– Third-party education provided in-house (i.e. the teachers come to the boardroom) – 40.6%
– Other educational opportunities ( in-house training in the boardroom, “homework,” plant visits) – 71.9%
– Doubt they will obtain any director education over the next year – 15.6%

4. If your directors obtain continuous education, are the topics covered:
– More business/operational in nature – 23.3%
– More legal/governance/ethics in nature – 76.7%

5. Does your company have a director orientation program for new directors:
– Yes – 72.7%
– No – 27.3%

6. Does the board require new directors to participate in the company’s director orientation program:
– Yes – 69.7%
– No – 30.3%

Please take our new “Quick Survey on Rule 10b5-1 Plan Practices.”

More on “The Mentor Blog”

We continue to post new items daily on our blog – “The Mentor Blog” – for members. Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog. Here are some of the latest entries:

– What is Corporate Access Worth? Cost Estimates to Reach Company Reps
– Judge Rakoff Addresses Stanford Directors’ College
– NASAA: The Long-Awaited “One-Stop Filing” System for Rule 506 Notice Filings
– SEC Cops Don’t Need Guns, Badges on Their Beat
– CEO Succession Study: Fewer CEOs Are Being Forced Out

– Broc Romanek