Tags: warren buffett | jamie dimon | fink | common sense governance

Buffett, Fink Among Titans Pushing 'Common Sense' Governance

Buffett, Fink Among Titans Pushing 'Common Sense' Governance
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., speaks during the Economic Club of Washington's 25th anniversary celebration dinner in Washington, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Thursday, 21 July 2016 09:11 AM

A group of the U.S. financial industry’s most powerful leaders, including Warren Buffett and Laurence D. Fink, released a set of what they called “common sense” recommendations for public companies to improve their corporate governance and relations with shareholders.

BlackRock Inc.’s Fink, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Buffett were among 13 executives that jointly issued a public letter and report on Thursday. Their suggestions include urging publicly traded companies to refrain from short-term earnings forecasts, embracing corporate transparency and pushing for independent boards.

“We share the view that constructive dialogue requires finding common ground — a starting point to foster the economic growth that benefits shareholders, employees and the economy as a whole,” according to the letter. “To that end, we have worked to find common-sense principles.”

Fink, who runs the world’s largest asset manager, already encouraged chief executive officers in a letter earlier this year to stop offering earnings guidance and increase their focus on long-term goals. In the letter on Thursday, the executives said if companies do provide earnings guidance, they should avoid inflated projections and forecasts should be realistic.

“Our financial markets have become too obsessed with quarterly earnings forecasts,” according to the letter. “Companies should not feel obligated to provide earnings guidance — and should only do so if they believe that providing such guidance is beneficial to shareholders.”

Compensation Reporting

Another recommendation urges companies to account for stock-based compensation in their non-GAAP earnings. Group members also said they would prefer companies not have multiple classes of stock, which grants some shareholders more say when voting.

Other executives that were part of this public letter include heads of General Motors Co., General Electric Co. and Verizon Communications Inc., among others. Money-management firms whose executives participated included Capital Group Cos., Vanguard Group Inc. and T. Rowe Price Group Inc.

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A group of the U.S. financial industry's most powerful leaders, including Warren Buffett and Laurence D. Fink, released a set of what they called "common-sense" recommendations for public companies to improve their corporate governance and relations with...
warren buffett, jamie dimon, fink, common sense governance
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2016-11-21
Thursday, 21 July 2016 09:11 AM
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