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 reacts to Brexit and future of Shareholder Rights Directive

Uncertainty now surrounds the status of the Shareholder Rights Directive following the UK’s Brexit referendum result. The Directive is currently stalled at the trialogue stage involving negotiations between the Commission, Parliament and country representatives. The UK has been a vocal advocate on promoting better governance and sustainability reporting in recent years. For example, the latest rules on More…

South African directors are positive about governance

In the first survey of director sentiment in South Africa conducted by the country’s Institute of Directors (IoDSA) its top bosses are more positive than negative in their perceptions of governance in contrast to their economics and business sentiments which are more negative.

The top three governance challenges impacting current business identified by the survey are:

the More…

Australian Institute of Company Directors calls for direct voting at AGMs

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) is supporting reforms of the traditional company AGM system. The Australian federal government’s consultation has just ended on proposals to allow electronic forms of communication as the default method of providing shareholders with the notice of meetings and for proxy materials and meeting papers to be accessed on company websites.

More…

Forced labour supply chains: HP tops ranking of analysis of IT sector

The first benchmark findings on the efforts of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies to mitigate forced labour in their supply chains have been published by KnowTheChain a project of Humanity United a US-based foundation tackling global injustice issues. KnowTheChain said while the ICT sector is showing some commitment and action to tackle labour issues, there More…

Aligning board talent and company strategy is a key challenge survey finds

Aligning board talent with a company’s long-term strategy is a critical challenge for three-quarters of corporate directors according to a global survey by KPMG’s Board Leadership Center. The advisory firm surveyed more than 2,300 directors and senior executives across 46 countries and found that three in five want more diversity and viewpoints on the board.

KPMG said More…

Global investors condemn US attempt to undermine their voting decisions

Moves to regulate proxy research would undermine relationships with shareholders, compromise research integrity and eliminate competition say global investors.

Proposed regulation contradicts moves to improve objectivity in sell-side space.

The US House of Representatives’ Finance Services Committee last week passed a series of Bills which seek to repeal large chunks of the Dodd-Frank Act which was passed More…

Richard Branson adds voice to social justice campaign

UK founder of the Virgin-branded companies and philanthropist, Sir Richard Branson, has added his voice to a campaign against inequality, in a video which explains why he believes social justice is good for business.

He talks about meeting a 79 year old great-grandfather in Africa who had electricity for the first time and how he could More…

Sir Philip Green refuses to be phased by MP's questions on BHS collapse

The UK’s parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of the retailer, BHS, continued lastweek with the questioning of Sir Philip Green, the chairman of Arcadia and former owner of the business. MPs tried to relate Green’s conduct in relation to the BHS pension fund, which has a £571m deficit, and the sale of the business to Dominic More…

$4.8 trillion investor coalition backs first business and human rights benchmark

A coalition of over 80 institutional investors, with $4.8 trillion in assets under management, has pledged support for the creation of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) – the world’s first wide-scale benchmark on companies’ human rights policies, processes and practices.

The investors include Boston Common Asset Management, Aviva Investors, APG Asset More…

Finance companies need to do more on diversity

Big challenges remain if the financial sector is to make last changes to improve the diversity of their executives following the UK’s Gadhia Review and the launch of the government’s Women in Finance Charter, according to the think tank, New Financial.

The UK government commissioned Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money, to lead a review of More…