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Nell Minow's 8-Point Plan for Better Governance

Last Updated Nov 18, 2008 11:13 AM EST

Longtime activist for shareholder rights Nell Minow has an eight-point plan for President-elect Barack Obama.

The editor of The Corporate Library believes that Obama will have very little time and that the financial crisis shows a need for better corporate governance that "has never been clearer or more pressing."

Her recommendations:
  1. "Say on Pay," introduced by Sen. Obama, will get the support it needs.
  2. Shareholders, not management, should choose in which states the corporation is registered. Doing so will encourage state regulators to protect shareholders, not management.
  3. Directors should be approved by a majority vote. Current law should be changed that allows directors to serve if they do not get a majority vote provided they have no competition.
  4. Be savvy about appointments of the new Securities & Exchange Commission chief and key spots at the Departments of Treasury and Labor.
  5. Reorganize the SEC and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in ways that stem "self regulation" of industry.
  6. Pressure should be brought on investors, notably big institutions, to defend why they don't demand better performance of firms.
  7. The SEC should be more innovative with regulation in a "comply or explain" way that takes advantage of advanced technology in reporting systems.
  8. More global coordination is needed.
It's a big list with ambitious but useful points. What do you think?