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Council Of Institutional Investors

BUSINESS
August 26, 2010 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
A divided Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved a rule that could make it easier for shareholders to force out directors of underperforming companies. With the change, a big shareholder can get its board nominees listed on a company-mailed "proxy" ballot alongside the candidates favored by management. Until now, shareholders had go through a laborious and expensive process of sending their own mailings. Backers of the SEC's action — including public pension funds, shareholder advocates, labor unions and some investment managers — said it would give shareholders more leverage to force changes at poorly performing companies and to put the brakes on runaway executive compensation.
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BUSINESS
April 3, 2009 | Tom Petruno
Under intense pressure from Congress, accounting rule makers on Thursday voted to give banks more discretion in valuing dicey assets. The changes to so-called mark-to-market accounting standards could help banks avoid more write-downs on troubled mortgage-backed bonds. Banks also could decide to boost the value of those assets on their balance sheets, which could bolster their finances -- allaying concerns about the need to raise more capital.
NEWS
February 11, 2002 | RONALD BROWNSTEIN
After Enron, the accounting and securities industries are in the same uncomfortable position as the airlines after Sept. 11. To reassure fliers wary of the skies after the terrorist hijackings, the airline industry had to accept a long list of federal safety regulations it had long grounded. Likewise, to lure back investors fearful of more Enron-like accounting scandals, the investment industries may now have to accept new federal investor protections they have long blocked.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2002 | JOSH FRIEDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Angered by two years of bear market losses in stocks and a surge in corporate scandals, investors are voting in favor of shareholder-sponsored resolutions at a record pace this year.
BUSINESS
July 27, 1997 | SHARON WALSH, WASHINGTON POST
When Philadelphia lawyers sued directors of Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. last year for their role in a huge price-fixing scandal, they said they were striking a blow for the company's shareholders. ADM settled the suit recently for $8 million. But guess who gets the money? Not the shareholders, but the lawyers. "It's a classic case of lawyer greed," said Mark C. Hansen, an attorney for institutional shareholders protesting the settlement.
BUSINESS
November 9, 2007 | Kathy M. Kristof and E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writers
Two groups representing union pension funds turned their sights on Countrywide Financial Corp.'s directors Thursday, saying board members failed to curb what they called excessive compensation for Chairman and Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo.
BUSINESS
February 15, 1985 | MICHAEL A. HILTZIK, Times Staff Writer
Financier Carl Icahn said Thursday that if shareholders join him in rejecting a refinancing plan for Phillips Petroleum Co. next week, he will attempt to have the company sold to an employee group or another bidder "at a fair price" after first unseating the board of directors. "I'm not going away under any conditions," he said, adding that he would hold his stock--currently 7.5 million shares, or 4.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2004 | Melinda Fulmer and Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writers
Safeway Inc. recently awarded 11 senior and executive vice presidents millions of dollars in stock grants and options under a new compensation plan that is drawing fire from labor leaders and others. The plan came together in the wake of four high-profile corporate defections last year, including that of the chief financial officer, Vasant Prabhu, who left to join Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
BUSINESS
July 27, 2005 | Joseph Menn, Times Staff Writer
Silicon Valley lost its best hope to avoid treating stock options as a formal expense, when the man poised to become the nation's new securities chief said Tuesday that he would support the accounting shift. While Rep. Christopher Cox tried to beat back the options change in Congress, he told a Senate committee weighing his nomination as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman that the agency should make sure "that the rule is implemented as the markets expect."
BUSINESS
January 23, 2007 | Jonathan Peterson, Times Staff Writer
The Securities and Exchange Commission Monday said it would not intervene in a dispute over board election rules at Hewlett-Packard Co. and signaled that a clear policy governing director nomination contests probably would not be implemented until the 2008 season of corporate meetings. The announcement underscored the difficulties faced by the SEC and its chairman, Christopher Cox, in achieving consensus on a plan to give shareholders a greater voice in the corporate election process.
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