Commentary

SEC Shareholder Move Angers Institutions

This article, written by Brian Croce, originally appeared in Pensions & Investments on October 5, 2020. New amendments adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise the thresholds for submitting and resubmitting shareholder proposals in subsequent years has drawn the ire of investors large and small. “The amendments weaken the voice of investors and […]

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IPFI Advisory Board Weighs In on Proposed Department of Labor Rule on Proxy Advisory Firms, Provides Recommendations for Action on Robo-Voting

Institute for Pension Fund Integrity advisory board members and former pension fund officials have submitted comment letters on a proposed regulation by the Department of Labor concerning the role of proxy advisory firms in ERISA pension investment. If it is put into place, the rule would have a significant impact on the reach of proxy […]

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Ethical Investing’s Shifting Winds Force Law Firms to Be Nimble

This article originally appeared in Bloomberg Law on September 25, 2020. Companies looking to tap into the $12 trillion market for sustainable and socially responsible investments face myriad challenges—including moving targets and shifting political winds. That’s where the lawyers come in. The boom in investors looking to bankroll companies advancing certain environmental, social, and governance […]

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The SEC Takes Much-Needed Steps Toward Modernizing the Shareholder Proposal Rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) met today to finalize proposed changes to the Exchange Act Rule, which sets standards for companies subject to federal proxy rules to include shareholder proposals in their proxy statements. These updates come in the wake of extensive work done by SEC staff to evaluate the proxy process and shareholder proposals across […]

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Commentary: The Department Of Labor Takes Much-Needed Steps Toward Ensuring Fiduciary Obligations

This article originally appeared in Forbes on September 22, 2020. The time to ensure that pension fund managers are bound by their fiduciary obligation to their beneficiaries and not by any other political motives is now. Prioritizing issues other than pure financial returns may be an acceptable strategy for individuals managing their own money or […]

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Commentary: Trump’s Labor Department Seeks to Clean Up Left-Wing Abuses of Pensions

This op-ed originally appeared in TownHall and affiliated outlets on September 15, 2020. For pension beneficiaries across the country, the recent proposals by the Department of Labor are a positive step towards ensuring that accountability and fiscal responsibility take precedence over any other considerations. Two new rules are currently being weighed. The first, for which the department […]

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Proxy Proposal Angers Institutions

This article by Brian Croce originally appeared in Pensions & Investments on September 7, 2020. A Department of Labor proposal requiring ERISA-governed fiduciaries to cast proxy votes only when there is an economic impact on the retirement plan is misguided, sources say, but stakeholders from the business community have applauded the initiative. “It’s just a […]

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Department of Labor Seeks to Limit the Scope of Employee Benefit Plan Proxy Voting

In a newly proposed rule, the Department of Labor is seeking to address the widespread trend of proxy voting in ERISA-backed retirement fund decision making, narrowing the scope of such activity so that fund fiduciaries could cast proxy votes only when they would have an economic impact on the retirement plan. The rule, developed by the […]

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Commentary: Labor Department is protecting public pensions from political investments

This op-ed originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on August 14, 2020.   Over the past decade, a strategy known as Environmental, Social, and Governance, or “ESG investing,” has been pushed to the forefront as a tool by public officials and investment managers to promote environmental or social causes through pension fund investments. This requires […]

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Trump’s ESG Investing Rule Creates Retiree ‘Litigation Roadmap’

This article originally appeared in Bloomberg Law on August 4, 2020. A proposed record-keeping rule for socially conscious retirement investments must go unless plan sponsors want to spend more time in court, benefits advisers told the Labor Department. The regulation would require plan fiduciaries to fully document their reasoning for investing in environmental, social, and […]

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