The Informed Board - Summer 2021

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The world is returning to work. An environmental activist fund won a quarter of Exxon's board seats. World leaders announced plans for a minimum corporate tax.

This issue of The Informed Board provides insights for directors about these events. Plus, a look at the disruptive effects — and enormous benefits — that could flow from widespread adoption of blockchain technology in financial services, and a reminder about an old antitrust law that could be revived and used against tech companies.

Four Questions on Directors’ Minds as the World Returns to Work

Companies generally will be allowed to require employees to return to the office or other facility and to mandate vaccinations and/or testing. But they will need to observe state and federal laws, apply their rules evenhandedly and be alert to permitted exceptions.

What the Exxon Mobil Shareholder Votes Mean

The election to Exxon’s board of three directors nominated by a climate-focused activist fund and shareholder support for lobbying disclosures highlight the ESG forces companies now face. The outcome may embolden other ESG activist funds.

Is Tax Competition Dead?

The G7’s support for a more uniform global framework for corporate taxation could reduce the ability of countries to use low tax rates to attract businesses. Overall, the plan would likely raise taxes for many multinationals.

Fintech Disruption: It’s Not That Simple

Financial institutions and regulators will have to grapple with the potential disruption that could come from decentralized finance (DeFi) technology and cryptocurrencies.

Interlocking Boards: The Antitrust Risk You May Never Have Heard Of

The Clayton Act’s prohibition against competitors sharing directors or officers could be a tool if antitrust regulators look for new ways to preserve competition. Tech companies could be particularly vulnerable.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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