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Engagement is a process, not an event – Part 3 of 3

This is the third of a three-part series on board engagement. This post is written from the investor’s perspective.

Glenn Booraem is a Principal of the Vanguard Group, Inc. and the Treasurer of each of the Vanguard Funds. He has worked for Vanguard since 1989 and currently oversees the firm's corporate governance program, covering more than $2 trillion in equity market value. He is a frequent speaker on governance to industry groups and has served on the New York Stock Exchange’s Proxy Working Group and Commission on Corporate Governance.

Calls for better communication between companies and their increasingly institutional owners are nothing new. Corporate governance veterans Kayla Gillan and Rich Koppes (then at the California Public Employees Retirement System)…

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Why are some boards still reluctant to communicate with investors? – Part 2 of 3

This is the second of a three-part series on board engagement. This post is written from the perspective of a public company board member.

Gina France is President and CEO of France Strategic Partners LLC, which provides strategy and transaction advisory services and special project consulting to corporations. She has over 30 years of strategy, investment banking and corporate finance experience and is a 15-year veteran of Wall Street.  She serves on the boards of several public companies, including CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE: CBZ), Cedar Fair L.P. (NYSE: FUN), and FirstMerit Corporation (Nasdaq: FMER). 

Clearly, most boards take their fiduciary duties very seriously, understanding that they are accountable to shareholders and responsible for increasing shareholder value.…

Continue Reading Why are some boards still reluctant to communicate with investors? – Part 2 of 3

Finding the right strategy for effective board engagement with shareholders – Part 1 of 3

This is part one of a three-part series on board engagement. Future posts will include perspectives from a public company board member and an institutional investor.

Corporate directors are becoming more involved in shareholder engagement than ever before – not only because of shareholder activism, but also as a proactive strategy to ensure that investors are receiving the right messages and their concerns are addressed.  Their involvement can enhance management presentations by  providing a greater sense of the credibility and commitment of the entire board.

But while a growing number of companies are engaging with investors (see this Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute study), some boards and management teams remain unconvinced about the wisdom of…

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Strong themes abound in annual reports

From differentiation to discipline, consistency to partnership, the most recent annual report season featured a variety of strong themes as companies endeavored to tell their stories in new and compelling ways. Here are a few notable examples:

Sherwin-Williams

A flexible set of colors and design elements has helped Sherwin-Williams present a consistent brand identity from year to year.  Distinctive colors and photography highlight the company’s four reportable segments throughout each report, as well as the company overview and geographic reach map. As a result, the three latest reports have an impactful, consistent style that reflects the company’s leadership and strong financial performance in the paints and coatings industry.

Fairmount Santrol – Defining…

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Six strategies for a successful (and smoother) annual report process

Even in today’s world of instant information, the annual report remains a powerful tool that continues to provide a great opportunity to communicate with key stakeholders. With the 2013 annual report season still fresh in our minds, here are a few strategies to remember when planning for next year’s annual report season:

1) Develop a schedule

The time it takes to put together an annual report ranges greatly depending on the company – from six weeks for some to six months for others. In any case, it is important that everyone on the team understands key dates and deadlines to ensure a smooth process. This includes any major timing implications such as Notice & Access (in which the “Notice Only” option requires an accelerated timeline to complete your filings).…

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