September 28, 2010

The Growing Protest in the Wake of Symantec’s All-Virtual Meeting

Since there didn’t seem to be much of a backlash to last year’s slate of companies that conducted virtual-only annual meetings, I was beginning to think that the objections expressed a decade ago had dissipated. But as laid out by Jim McRitchie in his blog, many of the biggest active holders did object to Symantec’s recent virtual meeting – including CII, CalSTRS and CalPERS. Symantec is the first Fortune 500 company to conduct an all-electronic meeting.

Among other concerns, some of Symantec’s shareholders who attended electronically were not happy that they didn’t have their submitted question answered by management during the meeting (nor did 3 of the company’s 11 directors attend online), as laid out in this NY Times column. Suddenly, there has been a lot of negative press surrounding virtual-only meetings as here is yet another piece from Reuters that was published a few days before the NY Times piece…

Congrats to Keir Gumbs – a former Corp Fin Staffer, who has to rate among the most beloved in the history of the Division – for making Partner at his firm…

Pension Games Threaten Market

Since it doesn’t neatly fit into what most of our members deal with in their practice, I’ve been trying to resist blogging about the ongoing madness with state and local municipalities and how they may be the next domino that topple our markets. But this Bloomberg article with commentary from former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt and former SEC Chief Accountant Lynn Turner provides a great description of what is taking place there…

Catch-Up Now: “5th Annual Proxy Disclosure Conference”

The video archive of last weeks’ pair of Conferences – the “5th Annual Proxy Disclosure Conference” & “7th Annual Executive Compensation Conference” – are posted. Hopefully, you’ve talked to some of the many that attended this event and heard how much practical guidance was imparted. Our panels really delivered this year – and it’s not too late to watch them as you can still register and watch the panels now or when you are gearing up to draft your proxy materials.

– Broc Romanek