Stephen Davis is associate director and senior fellow at Harvard Law School’s Program on Corporate Governance, and a non-resident senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution. Davis, a Pulitzer-nominated authority on shareholder rights, was a founder of the Global Shareholder Service at the Investor Responsibility Research Center, and also co-founded the International Corporate Governance Network. Jon Lukomnik, a former governor of the ICGN, was previously the deputy comptroller for the City of New York, where he was investment advisor for the city’s treasury and benefit plans totaling $80 billion in assets.
Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik examine the fallout from the Wells Fargo scandal, delving into what could have been done better by management and offering some tips for other companies, read: banks, to avoid the same fate.
British Prime Minister Theresa May surprised everyone when she pledged to push for the installation of workers to company boards. But how will she actually accomplish that goal, ask Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik. And will other nations follow the U.K.’s lead?
It’s fashionable to slam stock buyback plans, but does it really have to be that way? Stephen Davis & Jon Lukomnik look into why buybacks are so heavily criticized and what directors need to do to make a better case for them.
It was all going so well. Institutional investors had made numerous efforts to comply with new SEC rules monitoring proxy advisers, but fresh legislation—HR 5311—might drive a permanent wedge between corporate boards and proxy advisers. More from columnists Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik.
Why all of the sudden and intense regulatory interest on non-GAAP measures? While the common use of this practice raises concerns of accounting misdeeds, the facts behind non-GAAP paint a different picture that regulators would be wise to notice.
As the United Kingdom’s “shareholder spring” subjects numerous top-index firms to repudiations of carefully planned executive compensation plans, Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik discuss how the trend of compliance as a value creator and as the primary method of enforcing good behavior is becoming too big to ignore.
As proxy season begins, holding boards accountable is the new black, and issues such as proxy access and dual-class companies are giving critics and activist shareholders new avenues for holding corporate board members’ feet to the fire. More from Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik.
Recent statements from big, mainstream investment firms underscore just how far corporate governance has evolved from having once been a compliance exercise about proxies to a fundamental contributor to risk management and value creation. And as more funds integrate environmental, social, and governance factors into the investment discipline, they are treating those same factors as components of portfolio management more than mere cost centers.
Capital markets move on information. And business in general improves in a competitive world when oversight is grounded in meaningful data. That’s why transparency in disclosure is such a good thing. But what we have now is bland compliance, not insightful communication, and it’s pretending that something exists when it’s not really there.