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SRI Chat - Socially Responsible Investing
Subject: socialfunds.com
From: James McRitchie
Date: 08/09/01
I'm disappointed that the resolution that Mark Latham and I introduced at Equus II does not seem to be covered on the socialfunds.com site. We got 18% of the vote at a company where insiders own 25% of the stock and institutional investors hold less than 6%.

The resolution could be used at any firm to support future resolutions on social, corporate governance or other issues. It simply asked the Equus II Board of Directors to hire a proxy advisory firm, chosen by shareowner vote. If successful, the proxy advisor would make its advice freely available to all Equus II shareowners for the subsequent year on all matters put to shareowner vote.

The premise is relatively simple. Most shareowners lack the time and expertise to make intelligent voting decisions. They're busy and they figure their vote doesn't really count for much anyway. They haven't got the time to read through pages of legalize about proposed mergers, poison pills, international labor law or option incentive plans for management. Yet many recognize managementís recommendations may be tainted by conflicts of interest.

Hiring a proxy advisor to provide an analysis independent of management woujld likely result in increasing votes for any proposal that can be tied to probable increases in the value of the firm.

I hope more people concerned with SRI will use this resolution next year. You can view the proposal at http://www.corpmon.com. If you'd like to discuss it further, drop me a note at jm@corpgov.net.

 

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