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Showing posts with the label Diversity

STANDARDS FOR ASSESSING THE DIVERSITY POLICIES OF BANKS, INVESTMENT FIRMS, CREDIT UNIONS

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Under Dodd/Frank, "six federal financial regulatory agencies – the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency –" must, by law, develop standards and an approach to assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities they regulate. This means looking at diversity at all banks, investment firms, and credit unions. All of them. Each of these agencies will develop a way to determine if the policies of the entities they regulate are fair, or at least, inclusive. They are asking for comments on this.
I suggest you comment, and have even drafted proposed comment text for you at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_dVF9yIbI5SU_QkiwuNFg3sOkImTdXnUk5J6-pEm0ZM/edit?usp=sharing
Comments are due by Feb. 7, 2014. Submit them via email by going to: Comments on …

Credit Unions Worried about Dodd/Frank 342

According to recent news reports, the "Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has written NCUA's Office of Minority and Women Inclusion to urge the agency implement one of the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act with as little additional reporting requirements as possible."

The referenced section of Dodd/Frank requires regulators to report on diversity at the financial institutions they firms regulate. This is an entirely new reporting requirement, and the first time a diversity reporting rule has been applied so broadly in an industry. This is also the first time a federal financial institution regulator has been tasked with this work.

Credit Union executives met with NCUA's OMWI office director, Tawana James, "on February 29 and..have written her a letter on March 26 expressing concern about a possible requirement to assess the diversity practices of credit union contractors and suppliers."

We will cover this and other recent Section 342 developments in …

NCUA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Last week, the national Credit Union Administration released it's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for 2012-2016. The Plan is an outline of the diversity goals of the Agency. NCUA is responsible for the supervision of the nation's credit unions.

The plan is a competent strategic document, but does not address diversity at the entities regulated by the NCUA.

A copy of the plan can be found at: http://www.ncua.gov/about/Documents/Agenda%20Items/AG20120315Item2B.pdf

Executive Order--Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce

The White HouseOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate Release August 18, 2011 Executive Order--Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal WorkforceEXECUTIVE ORDERESTABLISHING A COORDINATED GOVERNMENT-WIDE INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE FEDERAL WORKFORCEBy the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to promote the Federal workplace as a model of equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion, it is hereby ordered as follows:Section 1. Policy. Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.A commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclus…

SEC Approves Enhanced Disclosure About Risk, Compensation and Corporate Governance

On December 16, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission "approved rules to enhance the information provided to shareholders so they are better able to evaluate the leadership of public companies.

Additional Materials

Final Rule: Proxy Disclosure Enhancements

Beginning in the upcoming annual reporting and proxy season, the new rules will improve corporate disclosure regarding risk, compensation and corporate governance matters when voting decisions are made.

In particular, the new rules require disclosures in proxy and information statements about:

The relationship of a company's compensation policies and practices to risk management.

The background and qualifications of directors and nominees.

Legal actions involving a company's executive officers, directors and nominees.

The consideration of diversity in the process by which candidates for director are considered for nomination.

Board leadership structure and the board's role in risk oversight.

Stock and option awards to …

Major SEC shareholder resolution policy change

According to the Responsible Investor and SEC websites, in a major policy reversal, "the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (will) allow shareholder resolutions (concerning) companies’ environmental and social risks.. Similar resolutions had previously been blocked under policies dating back to the Bush administration. The move was unveiled in new guidance by the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance under new director Meredith Cross. As a result, companies will no longer be able to automatically exclude resolutions seeking information on the risks of environmental, human rights and other social issues." Shareholder resolutions are now sure to include executive compensation, community development, diversity, gender, SRI, ESG and CSR issues.

See: http://www.sec.gov/interps/legal/cfslb14e.htm

Fund to Invest in Companies That Promote Women Board Members

According to the New York Times, "A Swiss investment company plans to raise awareness about the shortage of women on corporate boards around the world, and generate returns for its investors in the process.

Naissance Capital, based in Zurich, is to start the Women’s Leadership Fund in January, which will invest exclusively in companies whose boards include women, or take minority stakes in companies that do not 'understand the need for greater female representation' and use it as leverage to push through changes.

R. James Breiding, a co-founder of Naissance Capital and a former director of Rothschild Corporate Finance, said the fund was created after several studies showed a correlation between the number of female directors and a company’s performance.

'We feel companies that select and recruit people on merit should do better,' Mr. Breiding said. 'Having greater diversity and independence of opinions helps.'

The fund’s board includes Kim Campbell, the former…

CalPERS Expands Environmental, Diversity Corporate Governance Guidelines

From CalPERS:

"CalPERS Expands Environmental, Diversity Corporate Governance Guidelines - Supports State Legislation on Climate Change

SACRAMENTO, CA – The CalPERS Board today signaled the importance of environmental disclosure and diversity of corporate boards by expanding corporate governance guidelines for portfolio companies.

The new guidelines will be added to the System’s Global Principles of Accountable Corporate Governance. These principles are used by CalPERS to vote proxies, engage management and boards of equity companies, and implement initiatives.

Both guidelines were proposed by State Controller John Chiang, a member of the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The environmental guidelines are aimed at getting companies to disclose and act upon climate risks like carbon emissions that, if unaddressed, could diminish investment returns.

To stay in step with changes in the marketplace, the pension fund’s Board adopted new corporate board diversity guidelines which will create b…

High Growth, Low Returns Found at Minority Banks

From: American Banker Newspaper
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
By Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Banks that target minority groups, particularly Hispanics and Asian-Americans, are reporting asset growth well above the industry average, largely because of an influx of immigrants.

However, on average these banks are less profitable and less efficient than mainstream ones, according to a report published last week by Creative Investment Research Inc., a Washington consulting firm that focuses on minority banking.

Assets at minority-owned banks are on pace to increase by an average of 17.43% this year, compared with the overall industry average of 6.38%, according to the report, which cited data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and other sources.

William Michael Cunningham, the consulting firm's president and chief executive, said the trend reflects both the increased number of start-ups targeting Hispanics — about a dozen have opened since the end of 2005 — and the continued asset g…

This Week's Events and News

Social Investors Launch Campaign to Halt Proposed Changes to Proxy Access RulesAccording to Portfolio.com, "Socially concerned investors groups say they won't stand by and see Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox crimp their right to demand company accountability on important issues like the business risks of climate change. The Social Investment Forum, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Ceres, a coalition of investors, environmental groups and others, unveiled a new web site to attract 500 institutions and financial professionals to sign a joint statement against proposed S.E.C. changes."
As we noted earlier,

"Those most directly impacted by the policy change are large in number but divided and unorganized. These include shareholder groups like the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, labor-related funds, faith-based pension funds, 'socially responsible' mutual funds, and individual stockholders...these grou…

This Week's events and news

Social Investments Forum will be held in Vladivostok

According to the Vladivostok Times, "The goal of the Forum is to promote the idea of social investments through creation of partnerships among local/regional authorities, businesses and non-commercial organizations (NGOs) for successful Territory"s socio-economic development. The New Eurasia Foundation Russian Far East Affiliate Office, in partnership with the Primorsky Territory Administration will hold SOCIAL INVESTMENTS FORUM IN THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST on July 27, 2007 in the framework of the first Pacific Economic Congress "Russia and Asia-Pacific - from cooperation to integration."
St. John’s Endowment Investments Outperform Those of a Majority of Higher Education InstitutionAccording to St. John's University, "A recently released NACUBO study indicates that St. John’s surpassed 90 percent of 700-plus colleges and universities in average annual rate of return on investments in the three-year period end…