This week, Nasdaq filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require companies listed on the exchange to have at least one woman and one racial minority or LGBTQ member on their board. Under the proposal, companies that do not meet that requirement will need to provide an explanation for why they have not made changes. An interesting detail in all of this is that many of the companies currently listed on Nasdaq would not meet the standard. The proposal follows moves from California and calls from the corporate governance community to hold companies accountable for the makeup of their boards.
Large institutional investors are increasingly scrutinized for their voting record on ESG issues, and that’s why a recent report on BlackRock and Vanguard raised eyebrows. The two investors gave support to less than one-sixth of shareholder proposals related to climate and social resolutions, Bloomberg reported, citing an investor group report. The report shows that while the two funds have been outspoken in their support for ESG programs across their investments, they remain skeptical of shareholder proposals on the subject.
Starboard Value called for ACI Worldwide to consider selling itself in a letter published this week. The move came after review of the payments systems company’s long-term plan, which the hedge fund deemed too risky and concluded would take too long for shareholders to realize substantial value. It’s hard to imagine that the letter came as a surprise to ACI, which Starboard called an “attractive” takeover candidate just two months ago.
Have a great weekend,