Unprecedented Ingersoll-Rand Vote Shows Momentum is Building In Campaign to Get Expatriate Companies to Come Home to America.Business Editors
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 30, 2003
A cross-section of institutional investors, state treasurers and labor unions said today that an extraordinary shareholder vote at Thursday's Ingersoll-Rand annual meeting proves momentum is building in the campaign to get American companies to return to U.S. soil from their off-shore tax sanctuaries.
A resolution calling on Ingersoll-Rand to return from its Bermuda haven won 41.4 percent of the vote over the opposition of the company's management. Despite winning millions of dollars in defense and homeland security Noun 1. Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Department of Homeland Security
executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States contracts from the federal government, Ingersoll-Rand has so far refused to join other expatriate companies, including Tyco and McDermott International, that have agreed to study a return to America.
"It's virtually unheard of for a shareholder resolution opposed by management to gather so much support in a proxy vote Proxy vote
Vote cast by one person or entity on behalf of another. ," said Jack Ehnes, Chief Executive Officer of the California State Teachers' Retirement System. "This is a clear and decisive statement from shareholders that Ingersoll-Rand must join the growing number of expatriate companies that have agreed to consider coming home to America. Those companies are beginning to realize reincorporation is essential to protect shareholder rights, to protect shareholders' investments and to meet their responsibilities to their country."
California State Treasurer The California State Treasurer is responsible for the state's investment and finance. The post has more narrow responsibilities and authority than the California State Controller. Some of the responsibilities include issuing bonds and notes for the state. Phil Angelides concurred: "Given the obstacles to mounting and running an insurgent INSURGENT. One who is concerned in an insurrection. He differs from a rebel in this, that rebel is always understood in a bad sense, or one who unjustly opposes the constituted authorities; insurgent may be one who justly opposes the tyranny of constituted authorities. shareholder campaign, particularly where Ingersoll-Rand management strongly opposed the measure, such a large vote to urge the company to 'Come Home to America' is a stunning sign of shareholder frustration over the odious practice of corporate expatriation.
"We are just beginning this fight," Angelides added, "and we are going to continue our campaign to bring these companies home."
"The proposal before the Ingersoll-Rand board is a continuation of our efforts - and is a signal to all companies that shareholders' voices will be heard this proxy season," added Gerald W. McEntee chairman of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Pension Plan and president of AFSCME AFSCME American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees . "Ingersoll-Rand must stand up for America, come back home to the United States, restore shareholder confidence, and pay taxes like the rest of us."
The 41.4 percent vote represents a significant swing in shareholders sentiment in only two years. Ingersoll-Rand won 89 percent support for the legal move to Bermuda in late 2001.
The vote also demonstrates that doubt is rising rapidly among shareholders over the wisdom of companies reincorporating to offshore mailing addresses. A similar resolution won the support of 26 percent of Tyco investors in early March. After that vote, Tyco officials agreed to study a return to the U.S. McDermott International recently agreed to do the same. Last year, tool maker Stanley Works abandoned plans to move its headquarters to Bermuda in the face of opposition from labor unions and institutional investors.
America's leading proxy advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS ISS
See Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). ), which had recommended a vote in favor of both the Tyco and Ingersoll-Rand, has said "a tidal wave" of pressure is building in the repatriation Repatriation
The process of converting a foreign currency into the currency of one's own country.
If you are American, converting British Pounds back to U.S. dollars is an example of repatriation. movement.
ISS noted that legislation to close tax loopholes is pending in Congress and that a growing number of states are beginning to consider and pass laws to deny state and municipal government contracts with companies that have incorporated offshore -- which ISS said in Ingersoll-Rand's case "could serve as a significant blow to the company's revenue stream."
"This unprecedented reincorporation vote indicates that investors are increasingly dissatisfied with the disregard these expatriate companies have shown for shareholder rights," said Richard L. Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. "Since the vote at Stanley Works, this issue has only gained momentum. This is a signal to other expatriate corporations that we will not just fade away."
Members of the "Come Home to America" coalition include the California State Teachers' Retirement System, California Public Employees' Retirement System and California State Treasurer Phil Angelides; American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Pension Plan; Connecticut State Treasurer The Connecticut State Treasurer serves the office of treasurer for the state of Connecticut. List of State Treasurers
# Name Took office Left office Party
1 Thomas Welles 1639 1641
2 William Whiting 1641 1648
3 Thomas Welles 1648 1652
4 John Talcott, Sr. Denise L. Nappier and Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds; New York City Comptroller The Office of Comptroller of New York City is the chief fiscal officer and chief auditing officer of the city. The comptroller is elected, citywide, to a four-year term and can hold office for two consecutive terms. , William C. Thompson, Jr. on behalf of the New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. retirement systems; New York State Comptroller The New York State Comptroller is the chief fiscal officer of the U.S. state of New York. The duties of the comptroller include auditing government operations and operating the state's retirement system. Alan G. Hevesi, and the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of State Common Retirement Fund; and the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO AFL-CIO: see American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
in full American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
The shareholder resolution was co-sponsored by American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Pension Plan and Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds.