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.

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Recent Items

Comment: Proxy adviser mafia shakedown? Put up or shut up.

Competition and Markets Authority Logo

In a recent edition of The Times, Financial Editor Patrick Hosking wrote an item entitled “Adviser is accused of mafia‑style shakedown” in which the business community raised concerns about the potential conflicts of interest in the governance services industry. It explained how ISS, the largest proxy voting adviser had developed a service which helps companies draft governance and voting disclosures in a way which improves the chances they will get the nod from shareholders.… Read the rest

FRC: Wide-ranging review of UK corporate governance code launched

FRC UK chairman announces review of corporate governance code

The UK’s corporate governance landscape could be set for set for a wholesale changes after the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announced a wide-ranging review of the corporate governance code. This will take into account the regulator’s recent work on corporate culture and succession planning, as well as the issues raised in the government’s green paper and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy parliamentary select committee inquiry.… Read the rest

OECD due diligence for the garment and footwear sector launched

OECD due dilience garment footwear guidance

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  (OECD ) has published its due diligence guidance for responsible supply chains in the garment and footwear sector in line with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNE guidelines)  and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.… Read the rest

Hong Kong corporate governance scorecard shows improvement needed

Hong Kong corporate governance scorecard

The latest corporate governance scorecard assessing listed companies in Hong Kong shows that improvement is needed and directors ought to stay up to speed with the latest corporate governance developments, according to the Hong Kong Institute of Directors.

The 2016 survey of 120 companies published this week found that when compared to the 121 firms assessed for the last survey in 2012 mean score had improved by 5.1% when the same criteria were compared.… Read the rest

Pensions must be part of corporate governance debate

pensions corporate governance

The UK’s Work and Pensions Select Committee has used its response to the government’s green paper on corporate governance to emphasise that public and private companies need to ensure that their pension fund forms part of their corporate thinking.

The MPs’ recommendations follow their inquiry into the collapse of the retailer BHS last year.… Read the rest

Snap go the votes!

Snap IPO shares no voting power

News of Snap Inc’s pending IPO arrived too late for our usual weekly round-up, but no matter, now that the full implications of the disappearing photo-apps disappearing votes have started to sink in, we can take a moment to reflect on what this really means for investors and good governance.… Read the rest

London Stock Exchange Group publishes ESG guidance

LSEG ESG guidance

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has issued guidance, through its Global Sustainable Investment Centre, setting out recommendations for good practice in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting.

The LSEG said that the global guide responded to demand from investors for a more consistent approach to ESG reporting, which it said is now a core part of the investment decision process.… Read the rest

Say on Pay: what have the Victorians ever done for us?

Queen Victoria

In the run up to the introduction of the UK’s remuneration regulations in 2012, the headlines and much of the political commentary suggested that shareholders were in need of extra powers to control executive pay. What the Thomas Cook vote has shown clearly, however, is that – in the UK at least – there is more than one way to make a point.… Read the rest

Thomas Cook: joined up voting on pay

Thomas Cook pay

Travel company, Thomas Cook received a warning on pay this week at its AGM when the voting results showed that some investors at starting to take a joined up approach to remuneration-related voting. This is a signal to all companies seeking approval for their remuneration policies and new incentive plans this year that shareholders do not want the potential for excessive awards under these schemes.… Read the rest

US SEC: Comments sought on pay ratio disclosure rule

SEC Securities & Exchange Commission

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking comments from companies are encountering as they look to comply with the CEO Pay Ratio disclosure rule which took effect for financial years from 1st January 2017. The rule, hotly debated by business and investors alike, requests companies to disclose the ratio of the median of the annual total pay of all employees to the annual total pay of the chief executive.… Read the rest