CII Urges SEC to Require “ESG” Funds to Explain Their Use of the TermThe SEC should require all funds that use “ESG” or “sustainable” in their name to explain what they mean by these terms, CII said in a May 5 letter. CII was responding to the agency’s request for comment on potential changes to its Names Rule for mutual funds and business development companies. With a growing number of funds billing themselves as environmental-, social- and governance-oriented, the SEC wants to make sure fund names do not mislead investors. In the letter, CII General Counsel Jeff Mahoney noted that “the current lack of a common understanding of ESG and ‘sustainable’ investment products makes it exceedingly difficult for the SEC to establish rules that would distinguish funds that use ESG or ‘sustainable’ as an investment strategy” vs. a type of investment. A better approach, Mahoney wrote, would be for the SEC to require all funds that use those terms to provide investors with a summary explanation of what they mean by those terms, and to provide a detailed explanation in the prospectus.
CII Questions Facebook’s Return to S&P 500 ESG IndexCII General Counsel Jeff Mahoney wrote to S&P Dow Jones Indices May 14, questioning the restoration of Facebook to the S&P 500 ESG Index. S&P booted Facebook from the index in June 2019, on concerns about privacy issues. But S&P was satisfied by changes and added Facebook back earlier in May, despite Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s continued control of the company through his super-voting rights.
CII-REF Report Examines New Poison PillsThe CII Research and Education Fund (CII-REF) on May 7 published a report on 46 shareholder rights plans (poison pills) adopted by U.S. companies so far this year. Nearly all were adopted as share prices plunged with the U.S. onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in late February and early March. The report describes poison pills and their evolution, and details the 2020 pills, including duration, trigger thresholds, qualifying offer provisions, passive investor exceptions and dead-hand provisions. The report is linked to a live spreadsheet that CII REF anticipates updating with new pill adoptions over the next several months.
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News & Highlights
- May 29 - What To Make Of The SEC’s Warnings And Recommendations For ESG Investing
- May 29 - The World’s Oldest Exchange Is Europe’s Hottest Listing Venue
- May 28 - Behind the Fall of China’s Luckin Coffee: a Network of Fake Buyers and a Fictitious Employee
- May 28 - U.S. Firms Shield CEO Pay as Pandemic Hits Workers, Investors
- May 27 - U.S. Congressional Report Warns Investors, Banks of China Risks
- May 27 - CEO Pay Has Topped $12.3M. Can It Keep Rising Post-Pandemic?
- May 26 - U.S. Moves to Audit Chinese Firms. Market Frets Over What Comes Next.
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