May 24, 2011

AFSCME Study: Vanguard Tops List of Excessive CEO Pay Enablers

Last week, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees released its annual report regarding how mutual funds vote on compensation agenda items. The report reviews how 26 large fund groups voted on 10 specific items, including the voluntary “say on pay” votes at Motorola and Occidental Petroleum, compensation committee members at Nabors and Abercrombie & Fitch, and a shareholder proposal to end “golden coffin” benefits at Verizon Communications. The report doesn’t include any 2011 votes, as mutual funds aren’t required to disclose those votes until this August.

As noted in their press release, the report criticizes four mutual fund groups as “pay enablers” (Vanguard, BlackRock, ING and Lord Abbett). On average, these four fund groups supported over 90 percent of management proposals. In comparison, AFSCME praises four other fund families for being “pay constrainers” (Dimensional, Dreyfus, Oppenheimer and Wells Fargo).

Risk Realized? What Happens When the Regulators Go Public?

Way back when the NYSE and Nasdaq went public a few years ago, one of the biggest concerns was how they would regulate their listed companies when they had the pressure of being public on their shoulders. In his “IR Web Report,” Dominic Jones analyzes how the NYSE may be changing their rulebook to favor one of their side businesses in his recent piece entitled “Alarm as NYSE seeks to add IR services to rulebook.”

Our “Q&A Forum”: The Big 6500!

In our “Q&A Forum,” we have blown by query #6500 (although the “real” number is much higher since many of these have follow-up queries). I know this is patting ourselves on the back, but it’s over eight years of sharing expert knowledge and is quite a resource. Combined with the Q&A Forums on our other sites, there have been over 20,000 questions answered. It’s pretty cool now that the Q&A format is all the rage in Silicon Valley (eg. Quora) – we’ve been in this space for a decade!

You are reminded that we welcome your own input into any query you see. And remember there is no need to identify yourself if you are inclined to remain anonymous when you post a reply (or a question). And of course, remember the disclaimer that you need to conduct your own analysis and that any answers don’t contain legal advice.

– Broc Romanek