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SEC Warns ISS Over “Proxy Rat” Tale, Why HR Still Isn’t a Strategic Partner, & Natural Gas Faces an Uphill Battle | October 2012


SEC Warns ISS Over "Proxy Rat" Tale
by Kaja Whitehouse of the New York Post
Institutional Shareholder Services, the nation’s largest and most influential shareholder adviser, is facing a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission after an ex-employee admitted selling confidential voting data to corporate boards. In a regulatory filing yesterday, ISS’s parent company, MSCI, said ISS received a so-called Wells Notice from the SEC’s enforcement arm on Sept. 14, tied to the former employee’s illicit activities. The SEC sends Wells Notices to warn companies that it is gearing up for a lawsuit and to offer them a chance to defend against the allegations. 

Why HR Still Isn't a Strategic Partner
by J. Craig Mundy of Ingersoll Rand
For two decades we have been hearing that HR must become a strategic partner to the business. And the fact that we're still hearing it suggests that in many organizations it hasn't happened. The need to align HR with the business has become more urgent than ever. Financial markets exert relentless pressure for growth, especially in emerging markets. Customers demand more and better service at lower cost. And cost-efficiency, resource conservation and regulatory compliance have become issues for almost every organization. Turnover among top talent is expected to increase in 2012; globalization is requiring stronger regional HR capabilities; and demographic shifts across the world are dramatically affecting availability of qualified people.

Say-on-Pay: Natural Gas Faces an Uphill Battle
by Kevin Kuschel & Brent Longnecker of Longnecker & Associates
With the state of the economy slightly improving and the U.S. energy market experiencing increased exploration and production activities in shale plays, many companies and their investors are riding the wave of increased revenues and profitability. Although energy is succeeding overall, natural gas producers are struggling with depressed prices as a result of supply greater than demand. As a result, poor total shareholder returns has Institutional Shareholder Services and shareholders unjustifiably calling for drastic changes to compensation. The natural gas industry will experience an uphill battle in the coming months as many companies attempt to avoid a failed say-on-pay vote.

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