Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events

RSS

Posts tagged “investor relations”

5 changes in shareholder activism

Shareholder activism isn’t going away any time soon. In the first nine months of 2017, we’ve seen a similar number of campaigns and a few less proxy fights compared with 2016. But all signs indicate that the tide of shareholder activism continues to rise. While the majority of targets have been small or mid-cap companies, the recent fight between activist investor Nelson Peltz and Proctor & Gamble demonstrates large cap companies are also vulnerable.   

Activism in a company’s shareholder base is more the norm today than the exception. The need to ‘think like an activist’ with a preparedness plan in place has become increasingly more common with boards of directors. We recently hosted a webinar, along with Kai Leikefett and Lawrence Elbaum of Vinson & Elkins, and

Continue Reading 5 changes in shareholder activism

Five reasons why tax reform still looks like a shaky bet

Six weeks ago I wrote here that investors and corporations should not count on Congress passing tax reform legislation this year. Now that the GOP’s “Big Six” has released a somewhat more detailed framework, do the chances look any better? Here are five reasons why the ambitious plan is still a long shot:

  1. Too Many Democrats. People like to say that no one knows what the Democratic Party stands for. One thing it definitely stands against is big tax cuts for the rich. In August, all but three of the 48 Senate Democrats signed a letter rejecting deficit-financed tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. The leading message from the Big Six is that the tax plan would provide no benefit for the rich.  But pretty much everyone else acknowledges that the nation’s…
Continue Reading Five reasons why tax reform still looks like a shaky bet

SEC chairman nominee Jay Clayton says IPO regs and costs should be eased

Jay Clayton is likely headed for a smooth confirmation by the U.S. Senate to be the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

We already have a pretty good sense of what Clayton, a high-profile corporate attorney with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, is likely to focus on, based on his March 23, 2017 testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs:

He said current SEC regulations have made it “too costly to become a public company,” and, as a result, there has been “a dearth of IPOs” in recent years. Clayton noted that the number of U.S.-listed public companies is down over 35 percent from 1997. In 1996, there were approximately 845 U.S. IPOs, while in 2016, there were approximately 128. Clayton’s client work has included…

Continue Reading SEC chairman nominee Jay Clayton says IPO regs and costs should be eased

3 questions to prepare for investors who care about sustainability

Sustainability has been steadily increasing as a focus for the investor and corporate governance community. It’s been a slow shift, to be sure, but it’s happening. Two recent developments:

  • The proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) acquired IW Financial, a firm that provides environment, social and governance (ESG) research and consulting services.
  • Investment advisers State Street sent a letter to Boards of Directors urging them to be more transparent on efforts to manage climate change and other ESG hot topics.

Beyond the content of the announcements themselves, the way ISS and State Street are talking about ESG is worthy of attention. ISS asserts that there is a “growing demand” for ESG information within the investment community, while…

Continue Reading 3 questions to prepare for investors who care about sustainability

Preparing for the Trump Twitter storm

While Twitter itself may be saved by President Trump’s frequent use, some companies have growing concerns about how his Tweets could negatively impact their business. Preparing a contingency plan to help guide responses and actions following a Trump Twitter targeting is now a reality nearly every organization must face.

Here’s a few tips:

Face the reality. Think it won’t happen to you? Think again. It’s happened to individuals and companies of all sizes. It can have a significant impact, even across an entire industry: Airline stocks fell 29 percent after the Executive Order on immigration.

Ask some hard questions. In what situations would you take a stand against negative commentary targeting your company? How would you do it without making the situation…

Continue Reading Preparing for the Trump Twitter storm