The following article in the WSJ makes no mention of Institutional Shareholder Services nor its parent, Riskmetrics, pending IPO.
“Cox, in denying access, puts his SEC legacy on the line,” Wall Street Journal, by Karen Scannell, November 29, 2007
This whole debate over prohibiting shareholders to separately forward director nominees is simply a ruse for hedge fund and private equity firms designed to takeover more and more publicly traded firms under the guise of good corporate governance. Cox did the right thing in rejecting this attempt. Far too many good companies, including Willamette Indusries of Portland, Oregon, have been destroyed by so called “shareholder initiatives” that change the composition of a companies board of directors in order to forward a merger.
Organizations cited in the article, including the Institutional Council of Investors, have a shameful record with respect to corporate governance and have no credibility. If they did, they would be agressively fighting the pending IPO of RiskMetrics.
Clearly, changes need to be made yet now is not the time given that hedge and private equity firms are not currently required to register with the Commission. As “The Investors Advocate” the SEC’s goal should always be increased transparency, not simply greasing the wheels for companies who disclose nothing to conduct predatory based mergers.