Vincent T. Lowry, Chief Executive Officer, Global Beta Advisors
In support of the Shareholder Proposal by Messrs. Wada and Suguro
(from left) Mr. Vincent T. Lowry, Mr. Isami Wada, and Mr. William Uchimoto, Esquire, Counsel to Dissident Board Slate
By Save Sekisui House Editorial Staff
April 17, 2020
An interview with Vincent T. Lowry
Q : As a 35-year veteran of the institutional investor community how do you evaluate a company’s corporate governance policies?
Institutional investors have been exercising control of financial markets not only as investors but as shareholders. I believe that close oversight improves corporate governance, transparency through disclosure, appropriate compensation and incentives management to focus on a firm’s long-term prospects. It is the obligation of institutional investors to provide strong oversight in order to protect everyone in the workforce, policy holders, retirees, and other individual investors, who depend on their financial advisors to provide a safe and secure retirement, to assist them with saving for a home or college and to share in the American dream.
I firmly believe that dissident slate (the “Slate”) represents the values that I mentioned. I stand behind Mr. Wada, Mr. Brady, Ms. Jacobs, Mr. Suguro and the other Slate members. I personally know many of the Slate members and they represent the principles of solid corporate governance. There have been reports that the current board of directors have caused the stock price to fall, made poor investment decisions and covered up a major scandal. Any one of these issues would be concerning but collectively these issues must be addressed by voting for the Brady / Wada slate and removing the current board.
Q: You reference the 2017 land scandal. What is your view on the Gotanda Land Fraud Transaction?
As a former member of the Philadelphia Police Force and the law enforcement community, I am appalled at glaring problems related to this transaction. In reviewing Philadelphia Inquirer articles and the informational website - savesekisuihouse.com - I see that the Slate is committed to get to the bottom of what strongly appears to be a cover-up of an improper transaction orchestrated by the incumbent Directors who include Toshinori Abe, Shiro Inagaki, Yoshihiro Nakai, and Takashi Uchida that shows indications of money laundering at Sekisui House. On the website, I have read the “Investigation Report” that was completed by a Sekisui House independent committee on January 24, 2018 (the “Report”) but only made public by the Company in a redacted format by Court order in November 2019. The Report speaks for itself as to the inordinate number of serious missed red flags that the Slate observes have gone unanswered by the current Board and management of the Company. The Slate states that it is resolutely committed to thoroughly investigate the actual causes of the massive loss of funds and report back findings to the Company’s shareholders, and concurrently seek recovery of the 5.55 billion yen (approx.) US$51.9 million. Let me make my point clear – Institutional Investors cannot support violations of the Patriot Act or potential money laundering activities.
Q: What is your opinion of Mr. Brady’s participation on the Slate?
I have known Chris for many years and have successfully worked with his firm, the Chart Group on various transactions. He and his family represent strong social ideals and they are unwavering in their support of doing what is right for investors. Mr. Brady has an unparalleled level of experience and knowledge in national defense, security, risk management, and prevention of money laundering. He will undoubtably use his diverse range of experiences and appropriately carry out the office of external director from an objective position, in order to create strong corporate governance, that secures the transparency of Sekisui House’s business operations going forward.
Q: What is your view of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) investing?
I am pleased to see that the Slate includes Pamela Jacobs, the Chief Sustainability Officer of a Spouting Rock Asset Management, to be one of the independent Directors. I applaud Ms. Jacobs being on the Slate as she is an authority on ESG investing. In this regard, it is important to highlight that major state pension funds across the United States urge companies in their investment portfolios to operate in a socially responsible matter and these pension funds are not hesitant to call for changes in a company’s corporate governance and practices that affect its role in major social or environmental issues.
Vincent T. Lowry Biography
Mr. Lowry is the Chief Executive Officer of Global Beta Advisors and his firm is an Investment Advisor to the Pennsylvania Treasury. He was also the lead portfolio manager for Oppenheimer Funds Revenue Weighted Factor Team until 2017. Mr. Lowry is the founder and architect behind the creation of the highly successful Revenue Shares Exchange Traded Funds.
Mr. Lowry has been a leader in institutional money management for over 35 years. During his career, he has provided consulting services to companies such as Leucadia National, Colonial Penn, Fidelity Mutual Life, the Insurance Department of Pennsylvania and the Ohio Treasury.
According to the Pennsylvania Treasury Report of Activities, Pennsylvania State Pension Funds own multi-million dollar positions in Sekisui House.