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美国的企业管治 逐渐升温

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Business

商业
Corporate governance in America
美国的企业管治
Heating up
逐渐升温
Shareholders are ever more willing to vote against management
股东永远愿意对管理者投反对票
TWENTY years ago Bob Monks bought an ad in the Wall Street Journal declaring members of the board of Sears, to which he hoped (in vain) to be elected, "non-performing assets". Nowadays, shareholder activists just create a website. On April 2nd Dan Loeb, a hedge-fund boss, launched valueyahoo.com, which brims with proposals for reviving the struggling web firm. Mr Loeb is trying to get himself elected to Yahoo!'s board against the wishes of its managers-a fight that could be the highlight of the annual corporate proxy season that is getting under way. He may win the shareholder vote, if Yahoo! does not strike a deal with him first.
20年前,鲍勃.蒙克斯在华尔街日报刊登了一则广告,宣称西尔斯百货的董事会成员是"不良资产",在此之前,他渴望被选中的成为其中之一,可惜没有。现今,股东维权主义者只需创建一个网站即可。4月2号,一个对冲基金的老板丹?勒布,建立一个valueyahoo.com网站,公布了各种拯救雅虎这不景气网络公司的方案。勒布先生正尝试违背公司管理层的意愿,令自己被选进雅虎的董事会。一场可能成为公司年度股东大会期间的焦点战争正准备打响。一旦雅虎没有预先和他达成协议,他可能赢得股东们的选票。
Several hedge funds are urging shareholders to give boards a good kicking. Starboard Value has nominated five candidates to the board of AOL, another ailing web firm. On April 2nd Pershing Square added a seventh candidate to the alternative slate of directors it has nominated to the board of Canadian Pacific Railway. Shareholder activism is "getting back to normal after the financial crisis of 2008," says Peter Harkins of D.F. King, a firm that advises participants in proxy contests.
几个对冲基金正说服股东们给董事会一个下马威。(美国对冲基金)Starboard Value已经给另一间衰落的网络公司——美国在线(AOL)的董事会里提名了五名候选人。4月2号,波欣广场(资本管理公司)在已经提命的加拿大太平洋铁路公司董事会候选人中增加第七位候选人作为董事的替代人。"股东激进主义在2008年经济危机后现正回归到正常。"D.F. King的皮得.哈更斯说,D.F. King是一间为代理权争夺的参与者提供咨询的公司。
.
It is not just hedge funds that are flexing their shareholderly muscles. Pension funds are at it, too. On March 27th it was reported that Goldman Sachs had made peace with the pension fund of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which had proposed a resolution to split the roles of chief executive and chairman, both of which are held by Lloyd Blankfein. The bank convinced AFSCME to withdraw its proposal by agreeing to appoint a "lead director" to keep Mr Blankfein in check. The union has made similar proposals at several firms, including JPMorgan Chase, whose boss AFSCME's president calls the "most dangerous man in America". Rupert Murdoch, the embattled chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, will face a motion that he surrender his chairmanship to someone independent.
不仅仅是对冲基金显示了他们的股东权力。养老基金同样如此。在3月27号,据报道,高盛投资公司与美国养老基金会以及美国工会达成协议,工会在为分离首席执行官与董事会提出了解决方案,而此前两个职位都是由贝兰克梵担任的。高盛银行同意任命一个"首席董事"以限制贝兰克梵,以此说服美国工会会撤销它的方案。该联合会在几间公司都采用了类似的方法,包括JP摩根大通——美国工会主席称他们的老板为"美国最危险的男人"。鲁伯特.默多克,一个新闻公司备受争议的董事会主席兼首席执行官,将面临一项移交他的主席身份给某个独立人的变动。
Two other issues are expected to attract scrutiny from shareholders this year. One is bosses' pay. Investors will show "a little more backbone" in curbing it, "having rather fluffed it last year", predicts Anne Simpson, who oversees the corporate-governance activities of CalPERS, a giant pension fund for California's public employees. Many boards struggled to win 70% support for pay packages last year, the first time such votes were required. This year, several could lose the vote (which is not binding) unless they have linked pay more explicitly to performance, reckons Paul Hodgson of GMI Ratings, a firm that measures corporate governance.

另外两个问题今年将有望得到股东们的严格审查。一个是领导者的工资。投资者将在处理这一问题上显示更大的决心,"去年已经付出了很多",辛普森组织认为,该组织负责监督加州公务员基金——这一巨型的加利福尼亚公务员的养老基金的管理活动。许多董事会通过抗争,去年在薪酬福利当面赢得了约70%支持,第一次被要求进行这样的投票。今年,一些董事会可能会失去票数,(那些曾处于中立的票)除非他们把工资与绩效明确地挂钩起来。GMI评级机构的保罗-霍奇森这样指出,GMI是一间评估公司治理的公司。

Perhaps the most contentious resolutions will be those demanding that firms be more transparent about their political spending, and requiring boards to ensure that this money is used in the interests of shareholders, not managers. This effort is being fiercely resisted. The US Chamber of Commerce argues that these resolutions, which mostly come from shareholders who are also trade unions or social activists, are not in the best interests of the firms concerned. Jim Copland of the Manhattan Institute, a think-tank, says that "some of these proposals may serve primarily to chill corporate political speech broadly, including on issues that most diversified shareholders-as distinguished from the proposals' sponsors-might prefer that the corporation's views be heard."
可能最有争议的解决方案是那些要求公司在关于政治方面的花费更加透明,且同时要求董事会确保这些钱被用到符合股东的利益上而不是管理层。这一方案被强烈地抵制。美国商会认为这些解决方案,大多数是由来自工会或者是社会活动家的股东们提出,方案并不符合公司所关注的最大利益。一个曼哈顿研究所的智囊团,吉姆.科普兰认为"其中的一些建议中的可能主要是为广泛地冻结公司政治性言论",其中包括关于股东多样化的问题,有别于建议赞助商,这些股东们可能更喜欢公司的意见被听到。
Well, maybe. But, as with the other issues on the proxy this year, that is for shareholders to decide.
也许是这样。但就像今年董事会中的其他问题一样,这都将由股东们去决定。

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关键字: 美国 企业 管治 升温

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