IN THE PRESS

TIAA Employees Pressured to Sell Products

This NY Times article is about the complaint that was filed by former TIAA employees stating that they pressured to sell products that generated more income for TIAA but the recommendations were more costly to clients and added very little value. As an investment firm, TIAA and its employees are subject to federal laws governing how they interact with clients. TIAA and its employees are not acting as fiduciaries, putting their clients´ interests first, as they should.

The article reports that interviews with over 20 current and former TIAA employees agree with the complaint that improper sales practices were conducted. These people were only interviewed on the condition of anonymity because TIAA makes its employees sign an agreement keeping them from making any remarks against TIAA to the public.

Investors Push Sanderson Farms to Cut Antibiotic Use

Investors again push to get Sanderson Farms to cut antibiotic use, reports a Router´s article. Shareholders of Sanderson Farms filed another proposal to convince the third largest U.S. poultry producer to stop giving antibiotics to healthy chickens for disease prevention. Sanderson is the only major U.S. chicken producer that has not committed to reducing or stopping the use of these antibiotics. The primary concern is that eating meat with antibiotics will reduce the human tolerance to antibiotics, which could be dangerous.

Seven Indian companies among world’s top 200 green energy firms

Forbes reports that the Carbon Clean 200 ranked top 200 green energy firms. Siemens AG (with its headquarter in Germany) is the largest. China has the most companies in the top 200 with 68. The seven Indian companies in the top 200 are: Suzlon Energy (55), Bharat Heavy Electricals (85), Tata Chemicals (144), Exide Industries (155), IDFC Ltd (167), Thermax Ltd (169), and Havells India (200).

McDonald’s brings foam cups back to Chicago despite shareholder pressure

As reported in the Chicago Tribune, McDonald is bringing back foam cups in some Chicago-area restaurants instead of more environmentally friendly options this summer for large drinks.  This is despite pressure from shareholders to eliminate the use of foam permanently.

New SEC Staff Legal Bulletin Raises Questions and Uncertainties for Investors and Companies

Shareholder Rights Group reports that the House of Representatives passed a revision to the shareholder proposal process in a section of the Financial Choice Act.  This would greatly reduce the ability for shareholders to file proposals. It would limit filing proposals to only a few of the largest shareowners. This bill is not expected to pass the Senate and become law. However, a Treasury Department report proposed this same change which could mean that another version of this proposal will come back in the future. This would greatly reduce the influence of shareholders to make changes in companies.

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