Posts Tagged 'Elisse Walter'

The Most Influential People in Corporate Governance

by Scott Hirst, for The Harvard Law School Forum at Harvard Law School, March 25, 2010.

A review of the most recent Directorship 100 list – a list of the most influential people in corporate governance put together each year by Directorship magazine – indicates that individuals affiliated with Harvard Law School and its Program on Corporate Governance play a central role in the corporate governance landscape.

The Directorship 100 list includes such well-known figures as President Barack Obama, Chairman Barney Frank, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro, activist investor Carl Ichan and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. The Forum was pleased to learn that the list includes thirty-four individuals who are (i) HLS faculty and fellows, (ii) Members of the Advisory Board of the Program on Corporate Governance, (iii) Guest Contributors to the HLS Forum, and/or (iv) Harvard Law School grads.  The “Harvard Thirty-Four” are as follows (for HLS alums, the year in parenthesis refers to graduation year):

The SEC and the Consequences of Divisiveness

by J. Robert Brown, for The Race to the Bottom, February 1, 2010.

Anyone who studies the history of the SEC knows that most decisions are made by consensus.  Those days are over.

The difficulty in reaching consensus can be worsened by the existence of representation of both parties on the body.  The five person commission is prohibited by law from having more than three persons of the same party.  See 15 USC 78d (“Not more than three of such commissioners shall be members of the same political party, and in making appointments members of different political parties shall be appointed alternately as nearly as may be practicable.”).  Ordinarily, therefore, the party in the White House gets three seats (and a majority) and the party out of power receives the other two (although there have been cases where the non-majority slots went to independents).

Of course, its possible to have appointees who represent both parties but have the same philosophical approach to regulation.  In other words, party affiliation isn’t by itself a guarantee of diverse viewpoints.

The current Commission, however, does have a diversity of viewpoints that break down along party lines.  The Commission currently has a full complement.  Schapiro, Walter and Aguilar sit in the democratic slots; Paredes and Casey occupy the republican ones.  Four of the current appointees were put on the Commission by President Bush.  President Obama has only had a single appointment so far, the chair, Schapiro…(continue reading)

Women on corporate boards: Push is on to train more female lawyers to fill spots on corporate boards

by Patti Ahern, for The Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2009.

Corporate boardrooms, long a bastion of male leadership, are under the watchful eye of DirectWomen, an organization designed to promote female lawyers to serve on corporate boards.

Although most corporations recognize the value of female board members and that diverse backgrounds and experience add quality, there is one huge barrier, said Mary Ann Jorgenson, an attorney and head of DirectWomen.

“We simply don’t have a cadre of women as large as the cadre of men,” Jorgenson said.

DirectWomen, an initiative of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section and the nonprofit women’s business group Catalyst, recently announced that 21 female lawyers were selected into the 2009 DirectWomen Board Institute…(continue reading)

Speech by SEC Commissioner: “The American Corporation and its Shareholders: Dooryard Visits Disallowed”

by Elisse B. Walter for US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), June 27, 2009.

…Our thinking on corporate governance issues in this country appears divided, however. There are those who believe that the capital markets themselves will improve corporate governance. And, there are those, like me, who believe that making improvements in corporate governance will enhance the capital markets. No matter which view you ascribe to, I think we can all agree that the relationship of the capital markets to corporate governance is complex and dynamic.

We have all seen an increased focus on corporate governance at the federal level over the past year. With resignations of CEOs and mandatory Say on Pay legislation for TARP recipients, I think it is fair to say that the Obama administration and the Congress are taking the initiative to demand governance excellence in fact and not just in appearance. This theme runs throughout the Administration’s white paper, which includes a recommendation for mandatory Say on Pay votes at all public companies…(read the complete sspeech here)

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