Topic Results: American governance

November 7, 2019

Carried Interest Warning From Court May Be Trouble for Treasury

A recent court case meant to clarify the definition of a corporation intensifies questions about the tax treatment of carried interest, a prized perk for private equity and hedge fund managers. The IRS argued for a broad definition of the term “corporation” in the case. But the legal issue that could come up in the […]

November 6, 2019

Mergers and acquisitions: Feds, activists disrupt US economic growth

By all indications mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is on the rise. In the first five months of 2019, companies announced over $1 trillion in mergers and acquisitions, a 14% increase from the same period in 2018. This is generally good for the economy, the consumer and the shareholders alike. In fact, all Americans benefit […]

September 20, 2019

The Business Roundtable on “The Purpose of a Corporation” Back to the future!

In September 2019, CEOs of large U.S. corporations have embraced with suspect enthusiasm the notion that a corporation’s purpose is broader than merely “creating shareholder value”. Why now after 30 years of obedience to the dogma of shareholder primacy and servile (but highly paid) attendance to the whims and wants of investment funds? Simply put, […]

September 20, 2019

From Amazon to the Financial Times and Trudeau, the big push is underway to ‘reset’ capitalism

The old pink lady of Fleet Street made history of sorts this week, donning a yellow front page that contained a five-word declaration that it was pursuing a New Agenda. Despite its reputation and self-declared role as a defender of free markets, the Financial Times of London has frequently flirted with assorted compromises. But nothing […]

December 19, 2018

The Case for Dual-Class of Shares

There are now 69 dual-class companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down from 100 in 2005. Only 23 Canadian companies went public since 2005 with a dual-class of shares while 16 of the 100 have since converted to a single-class and another 38 have disappeared since 2006 for other reasons (acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies and […]

August 20, 2018

Activist Hedge Funds Aren’t Good for Companies or Investors, So Why Do They Exist?

Activist hedge funds have become capital market and financial media darlings. The Economist famously called them “capitalism’s unlikely heroes” in a cover story, and the FT published an article saying we “should welcome” them. But they are utterly reviled by CEOs. And at best, their performance is ambiguous. The most comprehensive study of activist hedge fund performance that I have read […]

August 8, 2018

Are Independent Board Members Necessarily Credible?

By the late 2000s, independent directors were in the majority on the boards of almost every type of U.S. organization. While this achievement may have improved corporate governance, it was not the panacea that some had anticipated, as subsequent events like the financial crisis of 2008 brought down even some of the best governed corporations. […]

August 1, 2018

Dual-class shares: the good, the bad and the ugly

[ … ] Following an examination of Canadian industrial companies, Allaire (2016) suggested that financial performances of these Canadian DCS companies would outperform the peers over 5-, 10-, and 15-year periods (see Exhibit 1). Allaire considered that the superior financial performance would help these firms maintain their headquarters in Canada and argued that such share structures […]

May 18, 2018

Willis Towers Watson offers 2018 say-on-pay snapshot

In this snapshot review by Willis Towers Watson of U.S. say-on-pay and other compensation-related votes, WTW found that average support for say on pay remained high at 91%.  In addition, where ISS identified “high” levels of concern leading to negative recommendations on say on pay, 84% related to pay-for-performance concerns (compared to 75% in 2017).  WTW analyzed the […]

November 17, 2017

Pershing Square, Ackman and CP Rail: A Case of Successful ”Activism” ?

Pershing Square, an activist hedge fund owned and managed by William Ackman, began hostile maneuvers against the board of CP Rail in September 2011 and ended its association with CP in August 2016, having netted a profit of $2.6 billion for his fund. This Canadian saga, in many ways, an archetype of what hedge fund […]

October 30, 2017

Using International Comparisons to Guide Performance Improvement: Implications for Governance

Presentation made in October 2017,  by Eric C. Schneider, Senior Vice President for Policy and Research of the Commonwealth Fund, for the Conference on the governance of the healthcare system, organised by the Institut for Governance (IGOPP).

September 8, 2017

Overreacting to dual class stock

Yvan Allaire has a great analysis of Dow Jones’ overreaction to Snapchat’s IPO and the dual class stock phenomenon in general: ”In July 2017, Dow Jones, goaded by the reaction to Snapchat having gone public with a class of shares without voting rights, announced that, after extensive consultation, it had decided to henceforth eliminate companies […]

September 7, 2017

Dow Jones Erred By Going Nuclear on Dual-Class Shares

In July 2017, Dow Jones, goaded by the reaction to Snapchat having gone public with a class of shares without voting rights, announced that, after extensive consultation, it had decided to henceforth eliminate companies with dual-class shares from its indices, in particular the S&P 500 Index. Over the last 10 years, putting money in passive […]

August 24, 2017

Dow-Jones goes nuclear on dual class of shares

In July of this year, Dow-Jones, goaded by the reaction to Snapchat having gone public with a class of shares without voting rights, announced that, after extensive consultation, it had decided to henceforth eliminate dual-class companies from its indices, in particular the S&P 500 Index. Over the last ten years, putting money in passive index funds has become […]

August 17, 2017

Trump-era shift: CEOs find a voice for moral outrage

Corporate America started the year ready to engage with a controversial but business-minded president. This week CEOs have risen in chorus to denounce Trump’s lackluster response to racism. Not since the 1930s, when prominent business heads publicly broke with Franklin Roosevelt, has a US president seen such a revolt by leading business executives. [ … […]

December 23, 2016

Pershing Square, Ackman and CP Rail: A Case of Successful «Activism»?

Pershing Square, an activist hedge fund owned and managed by William Ackman, began hostile maneuvers against the board of CP Rail in September 2011 and ended its association with CP in August 2016, having netted a profit of $2.6 billion for his fund. This Canadian saga, in many ways, an archetype of what hedge fund […]