SOURCE: Investors for Director Accountability Foundation

Investors for Director Accountability Foundation

February 02, 2010 12:37 ET

Investor Group Calls Failed Corporate Boards a Major Hidden Cause of the Economic Meltdown and Excessive Bank Bonuses; Demands Reforms in Washington and Boardrooms

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 2, 2010) - "As the boards of some bailed-out Wall Street banks are handing out average bonuses for one year of nearly $600,000 per employee, all paid from shareholders' money, the average American has less than four percent of that amount in their entire retirement accounts," said Frederick (Shad) Rowe, the founder and president of the Investors for Director Accountability Foundation (IDAF).

Rowe announced that the non-profit, non-partisan IDAF is sending 600 copies of a new book -- Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions by John Gillespie and David Zweig (Simon & Schuster - Free Press) -- to leaders including President Obama, every member of Congress, federal regulators and top corporate executives. "Someone is finally blowing the whistle on those who enabled much of this sad state of affairs -- the boards of directors of American public companies," Rowe said. "Investors have been devastated by the recent financial collapse that was caused, in large part, by failed leadership in the board rooms at these same banks that overpaid CEOs, rubber-stamped excessive risk-taking and are now using shareholders' money to fight reforms."

"The big problem is that no one represents the 'little guy' -- the shareholders who put up the money that was decimated and is now being given away," said Rowe. "People aspire to retire. If the actual owners of these companies had the representation they deserve, we might not lose another $7 trillion in the market from bad leadership -- and taxpayers wouldn't be subsidizing bankers' bonuses."

Rowe notes that corporate directors simply aren't accountable to the shareholders who risked their savings and are now watching those they hired walk away with the money. "Companies resist regulation, but they're failing to run themselves effectively," said Rowe. "Ten percent unemployment, hopelessly under-funded pension funds, recurring corporate scandals, pay out of line with performance, a nation saddled with debt and a stock market that's lower than it was a decade ago make it obvious that something is desperately wrong. Directors don't answer to owners and they are beholden to CEOs."

Rowe pointed out that shareholders have no effective way to remove directors who aren't serving their interests. "Five or ten percent of shareholders should be able to call an Extraordinary General Meeting at which they can get rid of bad directors," said Rowe. "That's already allowed in Great Britain and most other developed countries. People pay more attention to somebody who can fire them. In addition, CEOs should not be allowed to serve as chairman of the board. That's still happening at 61% of our 500 largest companies and, as a result, those CEOs are basically in charge of monitoring themselves."

The IDAF is sending the books this week to all U.S. House members, U.S. Senators, President Obama, the cabinet secretaries, the U.S. Supreme Court justices, the SEC Commissioners, Federal Reserve chair Bernanke, the chairmen of the 20 largest US companies, and the heads of the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.

IDAF is a non-profit organization that advocates change so that public company directors begin to act in the best interests of shareholders. Its founder and president, Fredrick E. (Shad) Rowe, is General Partner of the Greenbrier Partners investment and the former chair of the Texas Pension Review Board which oversees public pensions in Texas.

Visit the IDAF website at

Information on the book:


Official book website:

Official Book Website at Simon & Schuster / Free Press

New York Times Book Review:

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Frederick E. (Shad) Rowe
    Founder and President
    1901 North Akard
    Dallas, TX 75201
    Telephone 214-754-9991
    Email: Email Contact