July 8, 2016

Corp Fin: Paul Dudek Leaves the SEC!

Paul Dudek is a nice guy. He’s the quintessential nice guy. I doubt anyone has ever come away from an encounter with Paul & thought otherwise.

But of course, he’s much more than that. When you think of Corp Fin’s Office of International Corporate Finance, you can’t help but think of Paul. He served as Chief of that Office for 23 years – and if you’ve been around long enough to see the evolution of “globalization,” you realize that Paul has been serving in that role since the prairie days. And now he has left as noted in this SEC press release.

And serving in that role isn’t easy. You are dealing with the laws of hundreds of other countries. You are dealing with different cultures & expectations about how to resolve differences. You are dealing with language barriers. It’s a fascinating office – but it deals with complex matters & requires a diplomatic touch. That’s Paul all the way.

I’m sure Corp Fin will find someone admirable to fill Paul’s job – but I doubt anyone will ever be able to fill his shoes. He’s brilliant & an excellent securities lawyer on top of all that niceness. Luckily, Paul isn’t retiring – he’s moving over to Latham & Watkins’ DC office as noted in their press release

ESG Advocates: Not A Pack of Sheep, More Like A Sheep Dog Pack

Here’s the intro from this Francis Byrd blog:

In the wake of yesterday’s Exxon proxy access vote, I read a recent post (“About Activist Unicorns and Sheep Pack Activism” on LinkedIn) on the activities of the As You Sow Foundation, in pressing BlackRock on executive compensation votes, describing the ESG Advocates as magical unicorns and as a sheep pack (as opposed to the wolf packs of activist hedge funds/investors).

I can understand how, at first blush, one might consider environmental groups (as well as religious investors, Taft-Harley and public funds) as goody-goodies focused on what they view as immoral, unethical and/or harmful behavior that companies need to end, irrespective of the financial impact on performance or investment returns. That however is only half the story and can lead to misperception with respect to the full spectrum of concerns these investors hold.

More on our “Proxy Season Blog”

We continue to post new items regularly on our “Proxy Season 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:

– The “Proxy Access Bible”
– Shareholder Proposals: 49 Pages of Trends in ’16
– How to Write Bad MD&A
– Proxy Access Proposals: Most Likely to Gain Majority Support
– Proxy Advisor Reform: The Debate

Broc Romanek