ESG Archive

Oct 01, 1995
If there's one issue in the battle between companies and investors that just won't seem to lie down, it has to be that of executive and director compensation. Some try to discount the importance of high salaries and benefits packages by attributing the hostility they generate to the politics of envy: complaints from those vociferous retail shareholders are all based merely on jealousy, not on rational analyses of their impact on bottom lines. But despite the worldly ...
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Oct 01, 1995
John Maynard Keynes once suggested that it would be possible for the government to bury money in bottles and then pay the unemployed to dig it up, excavating the country out of recession in the process. In fact, at least one American industry has beaten recession by effectively burying large amounts of wealth, with no intention that it should ever be exhumed. During the civil war, the federal government trained thousands of embalmers to return the heroic depar...
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Oct 01, 1995
John Maynard Keynes once suggested that it would be possible for the government to bury money in bottles and then pay the unemployed to dig it up, excavating the country out of recession in the process. In fact, at least one American industry has beaten recession by effectively burying large amounts of wealth, with no intention that it should ever be exhumed. During the civil war, the federal government trained thousands of embalmers to return the heroic depar...
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Sep 01, 1995
The introduction of T+3 may have been far from popular among US companies but many are now taking up the quid pro quo offered by the SEC in exchange for faster settlement. That is, they are exploiting the opportunity to launch open availability or direct investment plans (Dips) for private shareholders. A major concern about the introduction of T+3 (see Investor Relations, June 1995) was that it would move private investors into street names, making tracking a...
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Sep 01, 1995
People who know me know that I love what I do. It is terrifically exciting and enormously satisfying to be involved in investor relations at a time when the rapid globalisation of the capital markets is creating new challenges and opportunities on a daily basis. I would not trade my choice of profession for any other - on most days - and today must be a good day. Nevertheless, there are times when where I am is not where I would choose to be, were the choice m...
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Sep 01, 1995
Never before have American listed companies had so many choices. With exchanges pounding the highways, luring new listings business with promises of greater liquidity, better IR services and improved products, it's not surprising that many companies, domestic and foreign, are confused. Meanwhile, US regulators and stock market administrators have their work cut out to maintain America's standing as the world's leading capital market. The SEC, and the securitie...
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Sep 01, 1995
One of the most entertaining aspects of writing an article on the development of the annual report is getting hold of some of the documents from the 1970s. They provide photographic confirmation that even the world's leading chief executives fell victim to the wacky ties, wide lapels, flares and flowing locks which characterised the decade. Something those CEOs might prefer to forget. The downside is that the office becomes swamped with a plethora of documents...
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Sep 01, 1995
It's easy to sympathise with the non-English speaking peoples of this world when they charge Anglo-Saxons with attempting to hi-jack the global corporate governance agenda. The basic principles about the way companies should be run, and in whose interests, are very different in Germany, France and Japan, for example, from those broadly accepted in the US or the UK. To the non-UK or US observer, these two English-speaking nations may appear to be as one, determ...
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Sep 01, 1995
Proxy votes come and go, but some leave a bitter taste. That's especially true when a poison pill is the issue, as in the case of Beverly Enterprises versus Fast and the AFL-CIO. Some 13 years into this vitriolic epic, the latest battle is being waged on the proxy front, and the results have deepened the rift between America's largest nursing home operator and the Food and Allied Service Trades Department (Fast) of the powerful AFL-CIO federation of unions. In...
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Sep 01, 1995
Does your CEO speak cybertalk? It may be time to ask - politely. Cyber showmanship might just be set to become a prized attribute for the ambitious, investor-friendly CEO. Indeed, it may no longer be enough to be the most astute strategic thinker or the most ruthless, tyrannical boss in town. The rewards of cyber-dexterity await. Corporate management may find it can jump over the traditional gatekeepers of big-name, powerhouse analysts and top financial media ...
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