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Consejero Independiente

El impacto del “passive investment” en el “active ownership”

Hago un post específico para este artículo de Ronal Orol “How Index Funds Could Turbocharge Activism” que resume perfectamente el contexto en el que se mueven ahora las compañías cotizadas y los inversores activistas.

Resumen ejecutivo

“The relationship between activists and big index funds is strong,” Rossman said. “And each year as more money flows into passive strategies, passive managers become more assertive, willing to use their large stake and influence to have companies make changes.”

“Welling’s fund Engaged Capital LLC accumulated a 9.9% stake over a short period of time. In addition, long-term holders Vanguard Ltd., Fidelity Investments, and BlackRock Inc. each own about 8% of the company, according to FactSet Research Systems Inc. As a result, Hain’s top four holders control well over 30% of the company—and its top 12 investors control about 50%.

 

Therefore, instead of convincing hundreds of shareholders to support his director candidates, Welling only has to convince a handful to back his efforts.”

“However, don’t expect it to be all share-price spikes and acquisition premiums for activist investors any time soon. Insurgents still have to face the fact that for a variety of reasons there is a better than not chance that index funds won’t back their campaigns. And legislators on Capitol Hill are trying to impose tougher regulations on proxy advisory firms, which could make life more difficult for activist funds and their director battles.”

Artículos para el verano

Comparto un artículo de Expansión en los que se nombran varias campañas de inversores activistas. Para abrir boca.

De segundo y postre el link al post que hace referencia al Wall Street donde se recogen otros muchas otras campañas con una explicación muy interesante. Espero que lo disfrutéis.

Iré añadiendo links a este post a medida que vayan saliendo temas durante el verano.

Banco Popular: The End

Hace unos días que sucedió el bail-in de Banco Popular.

Hay mil frentes desde los cuales se puede analizar este episodio: el mecanismo utilizado y las consecuencias para el futuro, la gestión de los pasados y actuales gestores, el rol del comprador (Santander) y otros posibles compradores, la alineación de la dirección con los accionistas, las diferentes ampliaciones anteriores, el rol del supervisor, el rol de los test de stress, el impacto en accionistas, depositarios, trabajadores,…

Valorar a pasado cualquier evento nos lleva a lo que Nassim Taleb y otros autores nombran como retrospective distorsion. Este concepto sugiere que a la hora de explicar eventos pasados tenemos la ilusión que esos hechos eran previsibles en todo momento antes de que sucediera una vez hemos sabido su desarrollo final y tenemos toda la información. Es una idea cercana a la de narrative fallacy.

Puesto que hay varias movilizaciones de antiguos accionistas, quiero compartir unos datos de forma aséptica, aunque nos provoque a más de uno cierto escozor.

Banco Popular - Alex Bardají

 

Triángulo peligroso: mejor apearse

Curiosa noticia en la que se explica cómo una consejera con varios mandatos en consejos de administración de diferentes compañías, renuncia a uno de estos consejos por evitar posibles conflictos.

Isabel Tocino, consejera de Santander es actualmente también consejera no ejecutiva de ENCE Energía y Celulosa, S.A., Enagás, S.A. y Naturhouse Health, S.A.. Mejor dicho, era.

Resulta que el principal accionista de Naturhouse ha sido uno de los 300.000 accionistas de Banco Popular y está en proceso de demandar a Santander.

A resultas de este triángulo, la consejera ha decidido renunciar al mandato que ocupaba en Naturhouse. A mi modo de ver, buen paso de la Sra. Tocino. Sea voluntario o sugerido.

Directiva de palacio

Comparto un link donde se explica muy bien la nueva directiva 2017/828 en lo que respecta al fomento de la implicación a largo plazo de los accionistas, modificando la  Directiva 2007/36/CE.

El plazo para la transposición de la Directiva a los ordenamientos internos finaliza el 10 de junio de 2019.

Las cosas de palacio van despacio.

 

Exxon: Pulso Verde a la dirección

Los accionistas de Exxon han aprobado con el 62% de los votos una propuesta no vinculante que exige más transperencia en el reporting de sus políticas de cambio climático a la que la dirección se oponía.

La misma propuesta liderada por accionistas recibió un apoyo de 38.1% el año pasado. El cambio en este año parece ser liderado por inversores institucionales.

Ver más detalles en esta notícia de Reuters.

OPA de letras

Nos ofrece Expansión un ligero, pero interesante, artículo en el que se nombran las principales OPAs que han ocurrido durante las últimas décadas en España.

Las OPAs a nivel accionista son un momento de gran relevancia tanto se esté en la posición de potencial vendedor como de potencial comprador. Los riesgos de que los gestores tengan intereses no alineados con el resto de accionistas son muy elevados.

El capítulo de las OPAs se merece un artículo de calidad que espero poder compartir en el futuro. Por ahora, nos quedamos con el artículo de Expansión.

 

La figura del coauditor (joint auditor)

Como saben desde que la Comisión Europea planteó la rotación obligatoria de auditores en 2013, el baile de firmas de servicios profesionales dentro del Ibex ha sido continuo. Les dejo un enlace a una notícia del Expansión que recoge de forma resumida los cambios.

Sin embargo, lo que quiero desarrollar con este post es la figura del coauditor (joint auditor, en inglés) puesto que puede ser una figura en auge a consecuencia de los cambios normativos.

Como apunta la noticia: “Técnicas Reunidas y Grifols han apostado por esta fórmula y, mientras que la primera se ha decantado por Deloitte y PwC para revisar sus cuentas, el grupo sanitario especializado en hemoderivados ha escogido a Grant Thornton como coauditor junto a KPMG.”

Esta semana nos ha tocado hacer el informe de asesoramiento al voto a la Junta General de Accionistas precisamente de Grífols. Es por eso que quisiera compartir la breve explicación que hemos expuesto para explicar los motivos por los que una compañía apuesta por esta doble supervisión son los siguientes:

“The figure of the joint auditor it is quite unusual among Spanish quoted companies so far. Some of the benefits of joint audit are that:

  • enables entities to benefit from the technical expertise of more than one audit firm,
  • stimulates innovation and awareness,
  • enables smooth and sequenced rotation of audit firms,
  • reinforces auditor independence,
  • reduces the risk of over-familiarity,
  • promotes critical-eye and
  • reinforces the auditors ability to stand their ground.”

Espero que os sirva de ayuda si en el futuro os encontráis con esta fórmula.

 

La perla de la JGA 2017 de Tesla

Preparando las propuestas de la Junta General de Accionistas (JGA) 2017 de Tesla nos encontramos la siguiente perla. Interesante el modo en que el accionista y la dirección argumentan: (resultado de la votación al final)

PROPOSAL FIVE

STOCKHOLDER PROPOSAL REGARDING DECLASSIFICATION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

In accordance with SEC rules, we have set forth below a stockholder proposal from the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Fund (“CRPTF”), along with a supporting statement of the proponent, in each case exactly as submitted by the proponent. CRPTF has notified us that it is the beneficial owner of 45,567 shares of the Company’s common stock and intends to present the following proposal at the 2017 Annual Meeting. The address for CRPTF’s principal fiduciary, the State Treasurer of the State of Connecticut, is 55 Elm Street, Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1773. The stockholder proposal will be required to be voted upon at the 2017 Annual Meeting only if properly presented.

Stockholder Proposal and Supporting Statement

***

Resolved, that shareholders of Tesla Motors, Inc. [sic] (“Tesla”) urge the board of directors to take the necessary steps (excluding those steps that must be taken by shareholders) to eliminate the classification of Tesla’s board and to require that all directors stand for election annually. The declassification should be completed in a manner that does not affect the unexpired terms of directors.

Supporting Statement

We believe the election of directors is the most powerful way shareholders influence Tesla’s strategic direction. Currently, the board is divided into three classes and each class serves staggered three-year terms. Because of this structure, shareholders may only vote on roughly one-third of the directors each year.

The staggered term structure of Telsa’s [sic] board is not in the best interest of shareholders because it reduces accountability and is an unnecessary anti-takeover device. Shareholders should have the opportunity to vote on the performance of the entire Board of Directors each year. Such annual accountability serves to keep directors closely focused on the performance of top executives and on increasing shareholder value.

Academic studies provide evidence that classified boards harm shareholders. A 2004 Harvard study by Lucian Bebchuk and Alma Cohen found that staggered boards are associated with a lower firm value (as measured by Tobin’s Q) and found evidence that staggered boards may contribute to, not merely reflect, that lower value.

Many shareholders appear to agree with these concerns. From 2012 through 2016, proposals to declassify the board were supported by, on average, between 77 and 81 % of shares voted. (Georgeson, 2016 Annual Corporate Governance Review at page 23 (http://www.computershare-na.com/sharedweb/georgeson/acgr/acgr2016.pdf)) During the same period, management at 205 companies sought shareholder approval for proposals to declassify their boards. (Id. at page 54.)

Fostering greater accountability to shareholders is particularly important at Tesla in light of the conflicts of interest we believe plague Tesla’s board. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk also serves as Tesla’s board chair. The lead independent director of Tesla’s board, Antonio Gracias, serves on the board of SpaceX, also led by Musk, and served on the board of SolarCity, another Musk-founded firm that was recently acquired by Tesla. (See Tesla 2016 Proxy Statement, at page 10) Gracias is the CEO and majority owner of a limited partnership in which both Musk and his brother are limited partners. (Id. at page 17) In our view, these relationships call into question Gracias’ ability to effectively lead the board in its monitoring responsibilities, including its oversight of Musk.

We urge shareholders to support this proposal.

Opposing Statement of the Board

The Board of Directors has considered this proposal and has determined that it would not serve the best interests of the Company or its stockholders, for the reasons stated below.

The Company’s mission, which is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, requires particularly long-term strategic planning by our Board. By providing directors with staggered three-year terms, our current Board structure allows our directors to maximize the interests of the Company and our stockholders over the long-term, without being distracted by special interests that seek only short-term returns.

Our staggered Board structure has facilitated a number of key decisions which might have appeared counter-intuitive to some, but which have set up the Company to achieve long-term success. Some examples include the Company’s decisions to (a) manufacture all-electric vehicles (EVs) from the ground up rather than being a mere supplier of EV components, (b) establish an international network of our own stores, service centers and Supercharger stations despite regulatory hurdles and the significant capital outlay required to do so, (c) build Gigafactory 1, the largest lithium-ion battery factory in the world, so that we can scale most effectively, and (d) acquire SolarCity so that we could create the world’s first and only vertically integrated sustainable energy company.

These and other similar decisions were made with a long-term focus and might not have happened if our directors were not afforded time to oversee and guide their implementation and execution. Ultimately, decisions like these are what differentiate Tesla from other companies and are a significant reason why the Company’s stock price has increased by more than 700% in the last five years.

Additionally, like other fast-growing technology companies that are similar to Tesla, the Company is still at a point in its development where we may experience significant short-term swings in the price of our stock that are unrelated or disproportionate to our long-term prospects. A staggered board structure reduces the risk of hostile and potentially abusive takeover tactics that seek to divert us from our long-term mission.

T HE B OARD OF D IRECTORS R ECOMMENDS A V OTE AGAINST THE S TOCKHOLDER P ROPOSAL R EGARDING D ECLASSIFICATION OF THE B OARD .

 Fuente en este link.

Por cierto, hasta el 6 de junio no sabremos cómo acaba la votación.—> Resultado en link: SEC-ABEA-4CW8X0-1564590-17-12264

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