Vanguard & Blackrock Should Vote “AGAINST” Directors at These April Shareholder Meetings

by | Apr 9, 2024

Directors play an essential role in setting a company’s strategy, selecting management, and overseeing management’s execution. It is the combination of these three roles that should see directors delivering returns for shareholders — which is their primary responsibility. Thus, assessing director track records to understand if they are delivering for shareholders is crucial, and even more important are shareholders who then vote their assessments at the annual shareholder meetings.

Quick Link: Jump to the Companies Where Shareholders Should Vote “AGAINST” Directors in April

Unfortunately, in most cases, directors face minimal repercussions for underperformance unless confronted by activist investors. In the instance of Walt Disney (DIS), would the board and Bob Iger have made so many big changes so fast if Nelson Peltz and Trian weren’t agitating for change? Frequent readers of proxy filings will no doubt be familiar with the hubris of underperforming boards that all too easily say “it is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders” to reelect all the directors who have overseen material underperformance (see the latest Spirit AeroSystems Holdings proxy filing for one).

This chronic lack of accountability for directors is a result of a variety of factors, but two of the primary drivers are (1) a broken incentive structure that makes it better to “go along to get along” for directors in order to keep their posts and pay and (2) a lack of transparency on a company’s performance during a director’s tenure.

Boardroom Alpha’s director ratings and supporting analytics are helping to provide better transparency and thus drive accountability. Below we look at a number of shareholder meetings coming up in April where we believe that the board’s track record suggests change is needed. In our view, any director with a “D” rating should, by default, be receiving an “AGAINST” vote from shareholders, including from the big index funds that we believe overweight “ESG” type factors in their voting considerations versus performance. Boards with average director ratings of “C-” or below should be answering serious questions from shareholders and in cases of long-term underperformance, should see shareholders voting against them.

For this exercise we’ve chosen to ignore other red flags based on governance such as staggered boards, entrenched boards, overboarding / capacity issues, pledging of shares, and the numerous other problematic issues. But, for those shareholders voting their shares, we’d suggest that boards with bad performance and bad governance are in even more desperate need of the change that will only come from shareholders voting “AGAINST”.

A Note on Boardroom Alpha’s Director Ratings

Boardroom Alpha’s ratings measure a company’s performance on observable, commonly accepted measures of corporate performance (stock price, volatility, revenue growth, etc) relative to peers and relative to a director’s start to provide a synthesized view of that director’s tenure. Those with “A” ratings have seen their company’s performance beat peers and improve over their tenure. Those with “C” ratings are amongst the peer median — fine, not great. And anything less than a “C” shows underperformance.

Quick Reads

Vanguard, Blackrock, and All Shareholders Should Question These Companies and Directors

Notes: Directors with an * next to their name are not standing for re-election at the April shareholder meeting

Meeting Date Company 1/3/5
Yr TSR
Avg Director Rating Avg Vote FOR at 2023 Mtg Vote FOR Pay Activist Vulnerability Directors (current) % FOR
Director at 2023 Mtg
Director
TSR
Director
Rating
Started Age
Tue April 16 NORTHERN TRUST CORP (NTRS) 4%
-10%
8%
C- 96% 97% HIGH Susan Crown
Charles A Tribbett
Linda Bynoe
David Byron Smith Jr
Martin P Slark
Becerra Jose Luis Prado*
Dean M Harrison
Donald Thompson
Jay L Henderson
Michael O’Grady
Marcy S Klevorn
Siddharth N Mehta
97%
95%
86%
96%
97%
96%
99%
97%
92%
95%
99%
98%
6%
6%
5%
6%
6%
9%
6%
6%
5%
3%
3%
3%
C-
C
C-
D
C-
C
C-
C-
D
D
D
D
1997
2005
2006
2010
2011
2012
2015
2015
2016
2017
2019
2019
65
68
71
57
69
69
69
60
68
58
64
65
Tue April 16 WHIRLPOOL CORP (WHR) -5%
-43%
4%
C- 94% 93% HIGH Michael D White*
John D Liu
Samuel R Allen
Harish Manwani
Diane M Dietz
Geraldine Elliott
Marc R Bitzer
Larry O Spencer
Greg Creed
James M Loree
Patricia K Poppe*
Jennifer A LaClair
Rudolph Wilson
Richard J Kramer
91%
96%
84%
93%
97%
98%
93%
95%
97%
97%
95%
95%

5%
4%
6%
8%
4%
2%
-2%
0%
-3%
-3%
-2%
9%
-13%
8%
C-
D
C-
C
C-
D
D
D
D
D
C-
C-
D
UN
2004
2010
2010
2011
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2017
2019
2020
2023
2024
72
55
70
70
58
67
59
70
66
65
55
52
48
60
Thu April 18 PPG INDUSTRIES INC (PPG) 3%
-4%
33%
C- 91% 93% ELEVATED Martin Richenhagen
Michael W Lamach
Melanie Healey
Gary R Heminger
Catherine R Smith
Kathleen Ligocki
Guillermo Novo
Michael Nally
Timothy M Knavish
Chris Roberts III


96%



90%

97%
11%
4%
6%
5%
5%
14%
3%
3%
21%
11%
B+
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
B-
D
2007
2015
2016
2017
2019
2020
2021
2021
2022
2023
71
60
62
70
60
67
61
48
58
61
Fri April 19 L3HARRIS TECHNOLOGIES INC (LHX) 8%
7%
40%
C- 96% 92% HIGH Thomas A Dattilo
Lewis Hay III
Peter W Chiarelli
Roger Fradin
Sallie B Bailey
Christopher E Kubasik
Rita S Lane
Robert B Millard
Harry B Harris Jr
Christina L Zamarro
Joanna Geraghty
Edward A Rice Jr
Kirk S Hachigian
William H Swanson
90%
94%
98%
94%
97%
95%
98%
94%
98%
98%
98%
98%

14%
14%
18%
13%
7%
5%
5%
5%
0%
-2%
-5%
2%
4%
4%
A
B+
A
C
C-
C-
C-
C-
D
D
D
B-
UN
UN
2001
2002
2012
2016
2018
2019
2019
2019
2021
2022
2022
2023
2023
2023
72
68
73
70
64
62
61
73
67
52
51
67
64
75
Mon April 22 HANESBRANDS INC (HBI) 1%
-72%
-67%
C- 92% 92% HIGH James C Johnson
Robert F Moran
Franck J Moison
Geralyn Breig
Stephen B Bratspies
William S Simon
Colin Browne
John Mehas
Mark A Irvin
Natasha Chand
91%
96%
95%
95%
94%
95%


96%
1%
-6%
-14%
-20%
-22%
-36%
23%
23%
-4%
23%
C
C-
D
C-
D
D
UN
UN
C-
UN
2006
2013
2015
2018
2020
2021
2023
2023
2023
2023
71
73
70
61
55
64
59
60
61
50
Tue April 23 INGEVITY CORP (NGVT) -34%
-37%
-59%
C- 99% 94% HIGH Daniel F Sansone
Frederick J Lynch
Jean S Blackwell
Luis Fernandez-Moreno
Diane H Gulyas
Karen G Narwold
John C Fortson
Benjamin G Wright
William J Slocum*
Bruce D Hoechner
99%
99%
98%
97%
98%
99%
99%
99%
99%
99%
7%
7%
7%
7%
-16%
-16%
-5%
-17%
-17%
-43%
C
C
C
C
D
D
D
C-
C-
D
2016
2016
2016
2016
2019
2019
2020
2022
2022
2023
71
59
69
61
67
64
56
49
45
64
Wed April 24 APTIV PLC (APTV) -27%
-46%
-12%
C- 96% 78% HIGH Sean O Mahoney
Kevin P Clark
Ana G Pinczuk
Colin J Parris
Nancy E Cooper
Robert Kelly Ortberg
Paul M Meister
Joseph L Hooley
Richard L Clemmer*
Merit E Janow
95%
93%
99%
98%
97%
98%
93%
94%
99%
96%
13%
2%
5%
-0%
-3%
-2%
-1%
-5%
-0%
-19%
B+
C-
C
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
D
2009
2015
2016
2017
2018
2018
2019
2020
2020
2021
61
61
60
62
70
63
71
66
72
65
Wed April 24 DANA INC (DAN) -8%
-44%
-26%
C- 94% 91% HIGH Keith E Wandell
Virginia A Kamsky*
R Bruce McDonald
James Kevin Kamsickas
Diarmuid B O’Connell
Michael J Mack
Bridget E Karlin
Ernesto M Hernandez
Gary Hu
Steven D Miller
92%
82%
98%
94%
98%
98%
95%
98%
94%
5%
2%
-3%
-2%
-10%
-10%
-7%
-22%
-22%
11%
C-
C-
C
C
D
D
C-
C-
C-
UN
2008
2011
2014
2015
2018
2018
2019
2022
2022
2023
74
70
63
57
60
67
67
66
36
35
Wed April 24 NEWMONT CORP (NEM) -21%
-29%
29%
D 97% 94% HIGH Bruce R Brook
Jane Nelson
Gregory H Boyce
Julio M Quintana
Rene Medori
Thomas Ronald Palmer
Maura J Clark
Susan N Story
Emma Fitzgerald
Jose Manuel Madero
Mary A Laschinger*
Patrick Awuah*
Philip Aiken
Sally-Anne Layman
89%
95%
97%
97%
98%
99%
97%
99%
99%
99%
98%
99%

-1%
-2%
12%
12%
3%
4%
-7%
-10%
-9%
-12%
-9%
-12%
6%
6%
D
D
C+
C+
D
D
D
D
C-
D
C-
D
UN
UN
2011
2011
2015
2015
2018
2019
2020
2020
2021
2021
2021
2021
2023
2023
68
63
69
64
66
56
65
64
57
55
64
58
75
50
Wed April 24 SABRE CORP (SABR) -37%
-83%
-87%
D 95% 95% HIGH Karl Mr Peterson
George R Bravante Jr
Sean E Menke*
Herve Couturier
Gail Mandel
Gregg A Saretsky
John M Scott III
Phyllis Newhouse
Wendi Christine Sturgis
Kurt Joseph Ekert
Elaine Paul
80%
97%
98%
97%
97%
93%
98%
89%
98%
99%
-16%
-18%
-25%
-26%
-23%
-27%
-27%
-45%
-45%
-28%
-11%
D
C-
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
UN
2007
2014
2016
2017
2020
2020
2020
2021
2021
2023
2024
53
65
55
65
55
64
57
61
57
53
56
Wed April 24 SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS HOLDINGS INC (SPR) -2%
-31%
-62%
C- 92% 91% HIGH Paul E Fulchino
Robert D Johnson
Ronald T Kadish
John L Plueger
Irene M Esteves
Laura Wright
Stephen Anthony Cambone
Patrick M Shanahan
William Augustus Fitzgerald III
James R Ray Jr
Jane Chappell
85%
86%
86%
94%
98%
84%
98%
94%
93%
94%
1%
1%
1%
0%
-5%
-15%
-17%
-11%
-11%
-16%
19%
C
C
C
C-
D
D
D
C+
C+
C+
UN
2006
2006
2006
2014
2015
2018
2019
2021
2021
2022
2024
77
76
75
69
65
64
71
61
63
60
62
Thu April 25 AES CORP (AES) -21%
-27%
17%
C- 98% 96% HIGH John B Morse Jr
Tarun Khanna*
Andres Gluski
Moises Naim
Holly K Koeppel
Alain Monie
Janet Davidson
Julia M Laulis
Maura Shaughnessy
Teresa Mosley Sebastian
Gerard M Anderson
Inderpal S Bhandari
97%
97%
98%
98%
95%
98%
98%
98%
99%
98%

9%
9%
8%
7%
7%
11%
4%
13%
-7%
-9%
-12%
6%
C-
C-
C-
C
C+
B-
D
D
D
D
D
UN
2008
2009
2011
2013
2015
2017
2019
2020
2021
2021
2023
2024
77
57
66
71
65
73
67
61
62
66
65
64
Thu April 25 AVANOS MEDICAL INC (AVNS) -36%
-56%
-56%
C- 96% 94% HIGH Gary Blackford
John P Byrnes*
Julie Ann Shimer
Patrick J O’Leary
Joseph Fralin Woody
Lisa Egbuonu-Davis
98%
98%
85%
99%
99%
98%
-8%
-8%
-8%
-7%
-10%
-30%
C-
C-
C-
C-
C
C-
2014
2014
2014
2014
2017
2023
66
65
71
66
58
66
Thu April 25 HERBALIFE LTD (HLF) -49%
-82%
-85%
D 99% 90% HIGH Maria Otero
Richard H Carmona
Alan W LeFevre
Juan Miguel Mendoza
Donal Mulligan
Sophie L’Helias
Celine Del Genes
Michael Johnson
Rodica Macadrai
Michael J Levitt
98%
98%
99%
99%
99%
99%
99%
98%

-14%
-13%
-21%
-21%
-42%
-42%
-45%
-45%
-44%
13%
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
UN
2013
2013
2018
2018
2021
2021
2022
2022
2023
2024
73
74
64
50
63
60
47
69
55
65
Thu April 25 JBG SMITH PROPERTIES (JBGS) 15%
-44%
-55%
D 96% HIGH Alan S Forman
Carol A Melton
D Ellen Shuman
Michael J Glosserman
Robert Alexander Stewart
Scott A Estes
William J Mulrow
William Matthew Kelly
Alisa Michelle Mall
Phyllis Caldwell
95%
96%
95%
96%
96%
96%
95%
96%
96%
96%
-7%
-9%
-7%
-7%
-7%
-7%
-9%
-7%
-14%
-17%
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2020
2021
58
69
69
78
62
53
68
51
46
64
Thu April 25 SENSIENT TECHNOLOGIES CORP (SXT) -4%
-6%
14%
C- 98% 91% HIGH Essie Whitelaw
Paul Manning
Gebhardt Deborah McKeithan
Joseph Carleone
Donald W Landry
Mario Ferruzzi
Scott C Morrison
Carol R Jackson
Sharad P Jain
98%
92%
99%
98%
98%
98%
98%
98%
99%
7%
8%
5%
5%
3%
3%
1%
5%
-11%
C
C-
C-
C-
D
D
D
C
D
1993
2012
2014
2014
2015
2015
2016
2019
2021
75
49
65
78
69
49
61
51
64
Fri April 26 KELLANOVA (K) -6%
8%
30%
C- 95% 96% ELEVATED Donald R Knauss
Mary A Laschinger
La June Montgomery Tabron
Stephanie Burns
Zack Gund
Carolyn M Tastad
Carter A Cast
Steven A Cahillane
Erica L Mann
Roderick D Gillum
J Michael Schlotman


98%
94%



93%


4%
5%
4%
4%
3%
2%
1%
3%
5%
5%
1%
D
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
2007
2012
2014
2014
2014
2015
2017
2017
2019
2019
2020
73
64
61
69
53
62
60
58
65
73
66
Fri April 26 STANLEY BLACK & DECKER INC (SWK) 33%
-49%
-24%
D 97% 90% HIGH Patrick D Campbell*
Debra Ann Crew
Andrea J Ayers
Michael David Hankin
Irving Tan
Jane Palmieri
Mojdeh Poul
Adrian V Mitchell
Donald Allan
Robert J Manning
Susan K Carter
86%
95%
97%
98%
98%
98%
98%
98%
98%
98%
8%
4%
2%
1%
-10%
-15%
-15%
-20%
-3%
5%
24%
C-
C-
C-
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
C-
2008
2013
2014
2016
2020
2021
2021
2022
2022
2022
2023
71
53
60
66
53
54
61
50
59
60
65
Tue April 30 FMC CORP (FMC) -49%
-43%
-17%
C- 95% 91% HIGH C Scott Greer
Robert C Pallash
Dirk A Kempthorne
Mark Douglas
Pierre R Brondeau
Eduardo E Cordeiro
K’Lynne Johnson
Margareth Oevrum
Carol Anthony Davidson
Kathy Lynn Fortmann
Patricia Verduin
92%
94%
94%
97%
94%
93%
97%
96%
99%
97%
11%
7%
9%
8%
8%
6%
3%
9%
-11%
-32%
-35%
B
C-
C-
C-
C-
C-
D
C+
D
D
D
2002
2008
2009
2010
2010
2011
2013
2016
2020
2022
2023
73
72
72
61
66
56
55
65
68
56
64

Recent Analysis

Daily SPAC Update – May 24, 2024

QRDO To Liquidate at $10.96. ShoulderUp Extends with 1.1M Redemptions. BFAC Extension Vote. Churchill Investor Deck. DIST Merger Agreement.

Daily SPAC Update – May 23, 2024

MAQC + Immersed Inc. Deal Terminated. GPAC Deal Vote Set. IVCB Extends w/ 2.1M Redemptions. CVII Investor Deck. PWUP Redemption Agreement.

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