The Activist Investor

Tulipshare

A podcast about taking ownership of the world around you through shareholder activism. Join the Tulipshare community as they speak to people all around the world about how the underdogs can take on the Goliaths of capitalism. read less
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Episodes

J&J talc lawsuits, UK public companies fail to publish credible climate transition plans, Salesforce enhances reporting on racial equity and more...
Apr 13 2023
J&J talc lawsuits, UK public companies fail to publish credible climate transition plans, Salesforce enhances reporting on racial equity and more...
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is settling lawsuits alleging that their talc-based baby powder causes cancer with an $8.9 billion offer J&J currently faces about 40,000 lawsuits from people claiming its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos. The company has always denied the allegations, stating that decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have shown its talc to be safe and asbestos-free.J&J decided to pull its talc-based baby powder from the US market in 2020, citing "misinformation" about the product's safety as the cause of the declining demand. In 2022, J&J halted the sale of the talc-based powder globally, following a shareholder proposal fromTulipshare and heavy pressure from other stakeholders.Yet, the company maintains that the claims against its talc products lack scientific merit, but believes that settling these cases through the proposed reorganization plan is more equitable and efficient. It allows claimants to be compensated in a timely manner and enables the company to focus on its commitment to positively impact health for humanity.Read more about it hereUK’s largest public companies fail to publish credible climate transition plans New research from EY has found that just 5% of the UK’s largest public companies, specifically FTSE 100 companies, have published climate transition plans that are “credible” or sufficiently detailed under draft British government guidance.  This is in comparison to the 80% of FTSE 100 companies who claim to have plans which include public targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2020. Investors are seen to demand companies to outline how their finances would be affected by the shift to net zero but companies are found to be unprepared without any actionable plans to enable the transition. In fact, these companies scored the weakest against the Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) framework’s implementation requirement, which asks companies to disclose how they intend to adapt business planning and operations and change products and services.According to Rob Doepel, EY UK and Ireland managing partner for sustainability, with the unpreparedness, the COP26 target for companies to publish mandatory transition plans in 2023 would likely be missed, but said “2024 is realistic”Shareholders have an important role to play in pushing businesses to develop actionable transition plans. And it's not just us at Tulipshare saying this. "Say on Climate'' is a global campaign, initiated by billionaire investor Chris Hohn, which advocates for shareholders to vote on a company’s transition plans. We pass the baton to you, shareholders. Read more about it hereCan Exxon’s low-carbon business outperform the company’s traditional oil & gas? Could oil and gas be replaced by decarbonised alternatives? ExxonMobil says yes. In fact the CEO, Darren Woods, claims that Exxon Mobil Corp's Low Carbon business could outperform the company's traditional oil and gas, taking on a market worth several trillion dollars within a decade. This shift is not only driven by environmental concerns but also by the benefits of reducing Exxon's exposure to commodity price fluctuations, regulatory and policy support for carbon pricing, and the cost of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.Read more about it hereTulipshare withdraws its Salesforce proposal And finally this week, Tulipshare reached an agreement with Salesforce! For those of you who have been following us for a while, you might recall that Tulipshare brought the racial equity audit proposal to Salesforce's AGM last year, which received  33.8% of shareholder votes. Since then, we spent months talking and working with Salesforce, and finally both parties reached a mutual agreement to withdraw the proposal and no-action challenge.Our work with Salesforce resulted in the Company demonstrating a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and its reporting efforts on those matters. This progress has led to the withdrawal of our proposal.Read more about it hereHead over to tulipshare.com. to read all about the stories covered in this week’s newsletter and podcast.That’s all for this week. Until next time!
Elliott Management abandons plans, Gen Z investors most likely to vote at the next AGM, Shell investor concerns and more
Apr 4 2023
Elliott Management abandons plans, Gen Z investors most likely to vote at the next AGM, Shell investor concerns and more
Here are some highlights from the world of shareholder activism news for the week.Activist investor Elliott Management abandons plans to nominate directors to Salesforce’s board.Elliott was one of several activist investors who in January of this year took multi-billion dollar stakes looking to leverage their shareholder power and improve the software company’s profitability.Salesforce and Elliott reached an agreement early Monday morning after the company delivered better-than-expected earnings in March, reassuring investors that management was now committed to boosting profits and efficiency.Jesse Cohn, who leads activism efforts at Elliott, said he was deeply impressed by the company’s new growth commitments and their ambitious plans to increase value for shareholders.Read more about it hereRetail investor AGM turnout is highest amongst Gen Z investors. The majority of US retail investors believe companies should be held accountable for the damage they cause to the environment and society, yet, less than half have actually voted at a company’s annual general meeting (AGM) before, according to new research from Tulipshare.Our latest AGM survey found that while 71% of retail investors are calling for damage control across companies listed on US stock exchanges, only 40% have participated in an AGM of a company they own shares in. The age group which saw the highest turnout was 18-24-year-olds. They were also the investors who believed their votes could make a difference and have an impact on the outcome of the AGM.While it is encouraging to see more people taking ownership of their investments, the survey also revealed that traditional brokers and investment platforms need to do more in educating investors about their shareholder rights, as only 47% said they had received a notification from their provider informing them that they were eligible to vote at a company’s upcoming AGM.Read more about our survey hereShell investors are increasingly concerned about energy security following the crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Despite continued pressure from climate activists for the company to aggressively cut emissions, Sinead Gorman, Shell’s Chief Financial Officer, echoed statements previously made by the company’s CEO that moving away from oil and gas production was not healthy for the business and would hurt consumers.The statements follow BP who said last month that it would pause plans to reduce production in order to guarantee a reliable energy supply following disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Read more about it hereTulipshare launches a new platform uniting retail investors around the world It was also a big week for Tulipshare as we launched a new platform looking to unite retail investors around the world, allowing anyone who has exposure to US stocks to exercise their shareholder rights in a simple and transparent way, even if Tulipshare is not their primary broker.If you live outside the UK you can now pledge your support to any of our 50 + Tulipshare campaigns thanks to the launch of our Pledge Your Shares app.Users who sign up and pledge their shares to a specific campaign or shareholder proposal will receive notifications about Tulipshare’s engagements with target companies, whilst also learning how to vote their shares ahead of a company’s AGM. This will comprise of regular newsletters containing the information investors need to know about all their holdings’ ESG commitments, company news, and campaign updates. Users will also have access to a breakdown of what’s on a company’s proxy statement as well as a timeline of key dates ahead of the AGM to make sure investors know how and when to vote their shares.Read more about it hereTulipshare's activism team files a proposal at Nike And finally, this week Tulipshare’s activism team filed a proposal requesting Nike’s board oversee a report to shareholders assessing the effectiveness of its existing supply chain management infrastructure in ensuring alignment with Nike’s equity goals and human rights commitments.With a proposal now on the voting ballot for Nike’s upcoming AGM, we believe that all investors - no matter the size of their investments - have the power to encourage the company to adopt stronger environmental and social commitments ensuring that one of the most beloved companies in the world is being responsibly managed with leadership accounting for all material risks and opportunities.Read more about it hereHead over to tulipshare.com. to read all about the stories covered in this week’s newsletter and podcast.That’s all for this week. Until next time!
UN's new climate report, tech layoffs, factory workers press Nike over missing pay and more
Mar 27 2023
UN's new climate report, tech layoffs, factory workers press Nike over missing pay and more
Earlier this week the UN issued a new climate report in which scientists say we need to bring net-zero targets forward by a decade. The statement was made as part of a climate survival guide, which found that current net zero targets wouldn’t be enough to slow the pace of climate change. In it, they suggested bringing targets forward by a decade. So what does this mean for the shareholder activism space? Over on our blog, we’ve highlighted several articles well worth a read if you want to see more about the role shareholders can play in net-zero targets. Meanwhile, Amazon to lay off 9,000 workers in cutsThe cuts will affect their tech products, mostly, following a wider trend of tech companies who experienced rapid growth during Covid and are now easing back amid concerns about the economy.Read more about it hereSalesforce also plans to cut 10% of its workforceThis will amount to roughly 8,000 layoffs, with the company also citing concerns about the economy. Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s co-CEO, was quoted saying, “We hired too many people leading into this economic downturn.” Stubbornly high inflation rates in the US as well as rising interest rates have been blamed for the tech sector’s slowdown.Read the full story here. Back to Amazon news - Amazon’s application for new UK warehouse refusedThe proposal would have seen nearly 60 acres of agricultural land to the west of the M62, near Cleckheaton, built upon. It received nearly 2,000 representations, with a majority of those opposing the plans. Despite the company’s promise that the warehouse would create 1,700 jobs in its first year, local residents stated objections such as increased traffic and pollution to the area.Read the story hereAsia factory workers press Nike over missing payShareholders at Tulipshare aren’t the only ones questioning the company’s silence around the treatment of factory workers in its supply chain - A group of 20 garment-worker unions and two labor-rights groups recently filed a complaint alleging the sportswear giant’s treatment of workers and unpaid wages violated OECD guidelines for responsible business conduct. It’s also a good time to mention that the deadline for shareholders to file proposals at Nike is next week.Read the storyAnd now over to Tulipshare-related news:We’re excited and proud to have won the award for Best Ethical Investment account at this year’s Good Money Guide Awards! Here are a few of our team members collecting the award in person at the event in LondonYou can check out a full list of winners and categories here[And now for our campaigns] Upcoming record dates…Buying shares before the company’s ‘record date’ gives you the best chance at being able to vote at their AGM, [so we like to remind people about these dates as they approach]. While we don’t know the exact record dates until the company releases its proxy statement, we can usually estimate them based on last year’s dates. The next estimated record dates coming up for our campaigns are McDonald’s, Skechers, Chevron, Meta, and ExxonMobil. You can read more about all of these campaigns through our app or website.And here are a few of the latest proxy statement releasesAt Tulipshare we send out regular updates regarding our campaigns, including information about when proxy statements are released. This week we sent our shareholders updates for Eli Lilly, Coca-Cola, Berkshire Hathaway, Lockheed Martin, Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, and Papa John’s. We’re happy to announce that we have campaign proposals on the ballot for all of those campaigns apart from Coca-Cola, meaning eligible shareholders have the opportunity to vote on our campaign issues at the AGMs. All of this information is available through our app and website, all you have to do is visit the campaign you’re interested in learning more about.Please remember that if you do decide to invest behind any of our campaigns, capital is at risk - meaning the value of your investments can go up as well as down.