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USA Today owner Gannett girds for proxy fight with unwanted suitor

“While media companies have embraced digital advertising, it typically generates far less revenue than its print counterpart” writes Ap Photo Kiichiro for washingtonexaminer.com. “Gannett’s ‘pie in the sky’ hopes for its digital businesses are not believable,” it added, “and cannot be counted on” to deliver a better return than the current offer.The bid was worth $254 million more than the company’s previous market value. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Hedge Fund Prepares Proxy Fight to Oust Board at Embattled PG&E

“This is the second time the hedge fund has run a proxy contest and it did not identify its intended nominees in the letter” writes Min Read for reuters.com. Board members failed to roll up their sleeves and are ready “to concede defeat and pass the buck to a bankruptcy judge,” the hedge fund wrote.PG&E said in a securities filing it could potentially raise more money and avoid seeking bankruptcy protection, but argued such a move would be complex, uncertain and expensive.PG&E, while facing a steep decline in its stock…

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Exclusive: Hedge fund prepares proxy fight to oust board at embattled PG&E

“This is the second time the hedge fund has run a proxy contest and it did not identify its intended nominees in the letter” reports businessinsider.com. “When sound governance is restored, and structural issues addressed, the Company will resolve its financial issues,” the hedge fund wrote.Board members failed to roll up their sleeves and are ready “to concede defeat and pass the buck to a bankruptcy judge,” the hedge fund wrote.With a new board and fresh oversight, the hedge fund forecast that the company’s share price, which closed at $7.99…

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Corporate America ramps up attacks against shareholder advisory firms

“These attacks are coming from some activist investors, proxy advisory firms” and some politicians” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Top lobbying firms are intensifying attacks on proxy advisers, with corporations seeking to rein in firms serving the interests of the shareholders who ultimately own them, as regulators consider new rules.Jack Reed, D-R.I., David Perdue, R-Ga., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and others that would mandate the SEC regulate proxy advisers.The agency might also raise the minimum ownership stake necessary for a shareholder to file a proposal that could — if it won majority support —…

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Ex-employee of proxy solicitor Georgeson convicted of fraud

“Proxy solicitation firms like Georgeson help publicly traded companies on matters that require shareholder approval by trying to gather information about institutional investors’ holdings and how they are voting” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Such information can help proxy solicitors give companies insight into whether shareholder proposals will likely pass or fail and shape strategies to affect the outcome.A federal jury in Boston found Donna Ackerly, who worked at proxy solicitation firm Georgeson LLC, guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud charges related to her role in a scheme to…

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Speed of revolving door between SEC and private sector is shocking, says expert on regulatory capture

“It means you and I can only invest in the bad stuff and the good stuff is reserved for the private investors” writes Francine Mckenna for marketwatch.com. Toys “R” Us, Inc. which recently filed bankruptcy was in and out of private equity ownership.One way to encourage more companies to go public is to shed some light on private equity ownership. Source: marketwatch.com

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Senate Banking leaders disagree on measures curbing stockholder influence

“Senate Banking Committee leaders disagreed Thursday on whether Congress should enact new laws governing corporate shareholder votes even as the Trump administration explores what actions it can take on its own” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Alongside changes to the shareholder proposal process, organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are also seeking regulatory or legislative action to rein in the influence of so-called proxy advisory firms, which provide voting recommendations to shareholders.”Folks in this town want to stack the deck even further against Main Street, small-time investors,” Sen.Currently, investors with as little…

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Clayton says SEC to focus on rules for financial professionals, proxy process

“Jay Clayton, the Trump-appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on Thursday outlined his priorities for next year, which include new rules for financial professionals and improving the proxy process” writes Francine Mckenna for marketwatch.com. Read: SEC targets proxy and short selling rules, compensation disclosures for possible changes The SEC issued its proposal in May to raise the standard of conduct for broker-dealers and reaffirm and clarify the fiduciary standard for investment advisers. Source: marketwatch.com

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Obama-era SEC official pushes Senate to rein in corporate advisory firms

“And without congressional attention to the issue, “the outsized role of proxy advisory firms will only continue to grow.”” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Additional regulation is needed to curb the growing influence of advisory firms on corporate shareholder votes, one former federal official plans to tell the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.In a letter to the SEC last month, Blackrock said improvements to transparency around proxy advisory firms “would benefit all stakeholders.”. One proposal under consideration is requiring additional communication between the proxy advisory firms and the companies on which they’re issuing…

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SEC targets proxy and short selling rules, compensation disclosures for possible changes

“Read: Behind the push at the SEC to make it easier for IPOs to be launched The SEC asks for comment on several existing rules related to executive pay and related-party disclosures and also on rules related to the annual proxy and shareholder proposals” writes Francine Mckenna for marketwatch.com. The SEC is encouraging the public to revisit how shareholders nominate directors and to critique rules that enhanced disclosures regarding board leadership, compensation consultants, and board oversight of risk. Source: marketwatch.com

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