Manifest-I

Welcome to Manifest-I the blog of Manifest, the proxy voting agency. Here we take a wide ranging view of topical governance and stewardship issues. Please feel free to add your comments and join the debate.

Manifest Statement on UK Government’s #Corpgov Green Paper

Manifest welcomes the Dept BEIS Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper which has been published today. Stakeholders are now faced with a very detailed and potentially far-reaching consultation which touches on a wide variety of topical issues. See Video https://goo.gl/Eb27h9

Manifest particularly welcomes the Government’s questions in relation to proxy advisors and other shareholder advisors who support investment managers and asset owners in their stewardship activities.  … Read the rest

Vote for #corpgov research – countdown to the SRII survey

The indefatigable Mike Tyrell of SRI-Connect has reminded us all that the final countdown to the Extel awards for ESG research – the SRII Survey – is upon us.

The IRRI* Survey is the biggest mass participation exercise in SRI & corporate governance. … Read the rest

Select Committee hears from Aberdeen, ICGN, Manifest & ShareSoc

A panel of shareholder representatives comprising Paul Lee of Aberdeen Asset Management, Kerrie Waring of ICGN, Sarah Wilson of Manifest and Cliff Weight of ShareSoc last week [23 November 2016] gave evidence to the BEIS Select Committee investigating corporate governance and directors duties in the UK.… Read the rest

UK #corpgov #execpay Green Paper widely expected this week

The British press were this weekend widely tipping that the publication of Theresa May’s flagship corporate governance reforms will be published this week. The BBC, GuardianTelegraph, Sunday Times, and Scotsman have all run more or less the same articles over the weekend highlighting the key features of a proposed Bill:
  • A requirement for companies to publish pay ratios showing the difference in pay between the chief executive and average employee;
  • Improving the effectiveness of remuneration committees and the extent to which they must consult shareholders and the wider company on pay;
  • Employee advisory representation on remuneration committees;
  • A binding annual shareholder votes on executive pay packages; and
  • Private company directors will be subject to a new code of conduct on behaviour and transparency.
Read the rest

IORPII approval gives welcome boost to ESG

European Parliament backs ESG

The European Parliament has backed the introduction of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision Directive (IORPII). One of the requirements of the new directive is for European occupational pensions to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Responsible investment group ShareAction has welcomed the EP’s support for the directive which was passed last week following an agreement in the summer with the other EU institutions – the European Union and the European Council – on a number of amendments to the Commission’s original 2014 draft.… Read the rest

Australian pension funds are adopting responsible investment finds RIAA

RIAA Benchmark 2016

Most of the largest Australian superannuation (super) pension funds are adopting some form of  responsible investment according to a survey by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA).

The RIAA said its  Superfund Responsible Investment Benchmarking Report  involved a detailed assessment and survey of the largest 50 superfunds in Australia which accounts for around $1.3 trillion of assets under management.… Read the rest

Women increase representation on US company boards

chart of women on boards in usa

The numbers of women on boards in the US has risen in the past year according to the latest  annual 2020 Gender Diversity Index (GDI) produced by the campaign group, 2020 Women on Boards. The organisation aims to  increase the percentage of women on US company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020.… Read the rest

UK PM Theresa May softens stance on worker representation

Theresa May UK PM

UK Prime Minister Theresa May appeared to soften her stance on board worker representation within UK companies having previously suggested they should be represented alongside consumers. Speaking at the CBI annual conference this week she said that the government’s coming green paper on corporate governance would address executive pay, shareholder accountability and how “we can ensure the employee voice is heard in the boardroom.”

Addressing worker representation May said: “I can categorically tell you that this is not about mandating works councils, or the direct appointment of workers or trade union representatives on boards.Read the rest

Water risks: Better management needed says CDP

water management

The think tank CDP released its latest global water report for 2016 at the UN’s  COP 22 Climate Change meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco which took place this week. The report highlights how companies are managing water risks as the global climate changes and is seen as critical in meeting climate change targets now the  Paris Agreement has entered into force.

Read the rest

Responsible Investment: EU, North America trends emerge

responsible investment green money trees

  • Quality of Sustainability Reporting Slammed

  • Uncertainty about ESG Risks

  • Exclusion remains dominant theme in Europe

The sustainable and responsible investment sector continues to grow and evolve across Europe according to the latest survey by Eurosif while a survey by RBC Global Asset Management in the US found that more capital than ever is being put into environmental, social and governance – biased (ESG)  investment even while some investors are unsure they will produce superior returns.… Read the rest