David Smith, who served nearly 20 years (1991 - 2001) as President & CEO of the Society of Corporate Secretaries (…and Governance Professionals, as its name was amended later in his career) passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family in early December, his youngest son Jenner reported, following an 18 month illness. David was a wonderful friend and mentor to many Society members, and a truly kind, caring and collegial man - who was an active leader at the Church of St. James the Less in Scarsdale NY for many years and who led the Society with distinction. Most important to note, David was one of the very first people to realize that the corporate governance movement was not just a threat to the “old Society” - but also presented the biggest opportunity ever in terms of new opportunities for career advancement, much greater visibility and importance, where Society members were concerned. David was the 2011 honoree at the annual End of Annual Meeting Celebration and Benefit for Fountain House and Fountain Gallery, sponsored annually by the greater NY financial services industry. Here’s a link to the video, where David’s gracious and typically modest comments begin about minute 6.3 or so: https://youtu.be/zHb7gqlPox4?t=6m49s
Gretchen Morgenson, the inimitable, Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter, has left the New York Times, after a 20-year stint. For a quick review of her past efforts to report much-needed corrections of marketplace practices - including her prize-winning coverage of the 2001 period of bubble investing - see the January 9, 2009 interview in Columbia Journalism Review's The Audit; “You’ve got to keep hammering” and her farewell column in the Dec. 12th New York Times, “Reflections of a Truth Seeker.” Happily, for fans of Ms. Morgenson’s rock’em sock’em reporting style, she will be continuing her work as senior special writer on the Wall Street Journal's investigative team.
Renee Walton, who most recently served as Publisher & Director of Sales at IR Media Group, the publisher of Corporate Secretary Magazine, joined the Society for Corporate Governance in January as Director, Sponsorship and Strategic Relationships. She will “support [the Society’s] sponsorship efforts while developing new ways to partner with our service providers to benefit our Society members…. Renee's expertise and extensive industry relationships make her well-positioned for the exciting challenges of this new role,” the Society noted, and we could not agree more wholeheartedly
The Society release also announced the appointment of Andrew Fitzsimons, “who joins as Senior Director, Administration & Human Resources…and who comes to the Society with over twenty years of legal administration management experience - first at Prudential Financial and then at Bank of New York Mellon. Andrew most recently served as Chief of Staff/CAO to BNY Mellon’s legal department [and] will be responsible for the human resources and financial functions, audit committee support, certification project management and other strategic initiatives. He started his career at Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Crown Prosecution Service in the U.K., following his graduation from Harlington College in England.”
“As the Society welcomes Andrew and Renee, we say goodbye to Olga Holmes, the Society’s Human Resources and Operations Director, who will retire in January after serving the Society for 21 years in several capacities.” Olga supported a total of five Society Presidents, according to their year-end release, and most ably so. We wish her the very best in her retirement.
Martin Glotzer, a very long-term and sometimes long-winded but always genial and polite serial-shareholder meeting-attender - aka “gadfly,” as he was OK, and even proud of being called - died in February, in Chicago, at 89. His devoted wife Pearl, a truly delightful gadfly with an unforgettable “show-business-like” persona, passed away a few months later, in July, at 88 - leaving two children and three grandchildren. Marty was especially proud of being one of the first “corporate raiders” - the very first, he claimed - having wrested away the management and control of the Cincinnati Union Stockyards Corporation in a proxy fight, way back in the 1970s. For some early photos of the Glotzers in action, go to http://www.optimizeronline.com/article/103133/the-original-shareholder-activists-and-the-founders-of-the-modern-corporate-go
Daniel Dixon - the son of Dave Dixon - currently one of Wells Fargo Bank’s top sales-stars in its Shareowner Service Group, who will surely be a super-nova for Equiniti too - recently signed with the Boston Celtics top development team, the Maine Red Claws. All of Dave’s many fans are rooting for imminent stardom for Daniel - a recent William & Mary grad who has been averaging 13 points per game. So if you get NBA TV, tune in the Maine Red Claws, enjoy the action, and root like mad for Daniel….
Keane UP names Kevin Ryan as Chief Executive Officer: Prior to being named as CEO, Ryan served, since 2014, as Keane’s Chief Financial Officer. “Kevin positions Keane for sustained growth and success. He has a proven ability to understand the business at a deeper level and drive results,” said Robert Belke, Chairman of Keane’s Board of Directors. “Through Kevin’s operational leadership and financial acumen, Keane saw record revenues in 2016 for its unclaimed property reporting division and continued expansion within its National Consulting & Advisory Services Group. We’re confident that Kevin’s strategic vision and leadership will allow Keane to strengthen and grow the services we deliver in a continuously regulated industry” the April 5th Press Release noted.
William H. Hinman
William H. Hinman, who recently retired as a partner in the Silicon Valley office of Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, LLP has been named as the new director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. “Bill is widely recognized for his judgment and expertise in the area of corporate finance. He also is a proven leader, mentor, and counselor. I know the SEC and the people it serves will benefit greatly from his valuable experience,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in the SEC’s press release. “He has spent the last 37 years working in our public and private markets, and he understands the SEC’s mission to promote capital formation while ensuring that investors have the information necessary to make informed decisions.”
Michael Goedecke, a securities industry veteran based in California - formerly with the Harris Trust and later the BNY-Mellon transfer agency sales teams, then as the West Coast sales rep for NASDAQ - has signed on with Broadridge Financial Solutions as a T-A sales rep. A really fine and knowledgeable guy.
Richard Ferlauto, one of the pioneers of the corporate governance movement and a leading spokesman for “socially responsible investment” passed away in his sleep on May 8th, at 60 years of age. A true innovator, and one of the most thoughtful and respected voices in the industry, Rich began his career as a community organizer and affordable housing activist. After an 11 year stint at ISS, he worked for union rights and rose to the position of Director of Corporate Governance and Pension Investments for AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). He also helped launch the Office of Investments of the AFL-CIO, after which he served for several years as a Deputy Director at the SEC. Most recently, Rich co-founded the 50/50 Climate Project which persuades corporate boards to respond to the challenges of climate change. The OPTIMIZER was pleased and proud to have interviewed Rich for its 2008 Special Supplement: Still highly relevant and a wonderful demonstration of Rich’s ability to articulate complex and often controversial issues in a clear, well reasoned and non-confrontational manner. Here's a link to the interview:
Dan Fahey, a former Bank of Boston transfer agent veteran, then an investment advisor, who frequently volunteered time and talent to help senior citizens in his Boston-area community, then a wonderful and meticulous Inspector of Election for CT Hagberg LLC, passed away peacefully in his sleep in April, after ten courageous months dealing with glioblastoma. Dan will be greatly missed by family, friends, colleagues, clients and fellow citizens, who turned out in force, we are told, for a joyful memorial service in his hometown.
Wilton Davila, an abandoned property expert who has done stints at Ryan, Laurel Hill and Georgeson is now a Principal at Assets Reunited LLC.
David Cary, based in Texas and a former Inspector of Election for CT Hagberg LLC, and earlier, a former employee of UPPR, is now a Senior Relationship Manager at American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. A great addition for AST, who will be missed at CTH LLC.
Maura Byrne, a 17-year-old Connecticut high school student who plans to enter university this fall, has been chosen to receive the SSA’s 13th award under the James R. Smith Scholarship Program. Her selection was announced by Scholarship Management Service, the independent organization that administers the program and oversees the annual application process on behalf of the SSA’s Board of Directors. Maura is the daughter of Ken and Cathy Byrne of Stamford and the granddaughter of long-time SSA and Society member Gordon G. Garney, formerly of Mobil Corporation, who many readers will still remember with affection. Maura plans to study journalism at American University in Washington, D.C., and sees herself in a writing career focused on issues ‘that are interesting and relevant.” Like all of the previous recipients of the Scholarship award, Maura is a highly accomplished, multitalented and community-minded star - and we feel certain she will continue the unbroken 12-year old tradition of remaining eligible for the Scholarship for her entire college career.
James Kristie, the distinguished editor and associate publisher of Directors & Boards magazine is retiring after more than three decades running the publication. Kristie is likely the longest-tenured magazine editor currently in the publishing industry, beginning his 36th year as editor of Directors & Boards in September - and he is, without a doubt, one of the bestconnected and most widely regarded people in the corporate world, and in the corporate governance space. “I just put out a 40th anniversary issue of Directors & Boards, and I originally thought I would retire with this issue — the old ‘going out on top…knowing when to quit’ trick…But management asked me to stay on to put out the first issue of 2017 so it looks like my last day will be Feb. 3 when that issue gets shipped to press” he posted on LinkedIn. Jim is an advisory board member of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware and the Center for Corporate Governance at the LeBow School of Business at Drexel University - so we are hoping that he will remain an active observer and commenter on governance matters.
Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase Chair & CEO, has been named Chair of The Business Roundtable for a 2-year term beginning January 1st, succeeding Doug Oberhelman, Chair & CEO of Caterpillar. Dimon was one of the prime movers behind the recently published Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance that aim to promote long-termoriented governance, and in December he was among the approximately 15 CEOs and other business leaders appointed to the President-Elect’s new Strategic & Policy Forum.
Preet Bharara, the hard-charging U.S. Attorney for Manhattan has “agreed to stay” in his current role under the Trump administration, “a move that could signal Donald Trump is serious about cracking down on Wall Street wrongdoing” - or so said a 12/1 WSJ column. After a meeting with Trump, Bharara “told reporters that Mr. Trump asked whether he was prepared to remain…and Mr. Bharara said he was.” Let’s hope this all pans out as the WSJ indicated.