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.

Recent Items

US firms and investors call on Trump to tackle climate change

Lars Petersson, CEO of IKEA-USA

A coalition of 530 US companies and 100 institutional investors have called on President-elect Donald Trump and politicians in Congress to embrace a low carbon economy and tackle climate change ahead of Trump’s inauguration later this month.

In a statement, which is also addressed to the the outgoing President Obama and global leaders, the signatories said they re-affirmed their deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.… Read the rest

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn speaks out on executive pay

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party has outlined his party’s agenda for governance reform focusing on CEO pay ratios. In a speech in Peterborough last week (10th January) Corbyn added his voice to the current debate surrounding Theresa May’s governance green paper proposals.… Read the rest

Tax transparency: EU proposals face dilution threat

Tax

Tax transparency campaigners are looking to the European Parliament to continue to have a strong stance on public tax disclosure after EU member states agreed in December on a position that weakened European Commission proposals contained in the latest draft of the  Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD).… Read the rest

UK companies need to do more to improve public trust says FRC

FRC Paul George

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has said it is ready to make further changes to the UK’s corporate governance code to reflect concerns about the role of companies within society and to improve public trust in its annual report, Developments in Corporate Governance and Stewardship 2016.… Read the rest

IIGCC appoints Peter Damgaard Jensen as chairman

Peter Damgaard Jensenof IIGCC

Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive of the large Danish pension fund manager PKA has become chairman of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). Jensen took over from Donald McDonald, who has also retired from his post as a BT Pensions trustee director, at the beginning of the year.… Read the rest

US updates ESG & voting guidance for ERISA funds

Phyllis Borzl - DoL

US regulators have responded to concerns that employee pension plans have not been exercising their shareholder rights by issuing updated guidance on proxy voting for 2017.

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) agency said that it is has long believed that it is important for plan administrators to know what their responsibilities are when they vote proxies on those shares or exercise other shareholder rights.… Read the rest

Philippines adopts revised Corporate Governance Code

A revised corporate governance code came into effect on 1st January 2017 in the Philippines. The code has been developed by the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the aim of improving the competitiveness of listed companies in the country and their ability to attract foreign investment.… Read the rest

Sports Direct’s independent shareholders remain unconvinced

Sports Direct Logo

A majority of Sports Direct independent shareholders remain sceptical of governance improvements at the troubled retailer and last week voted against the re-election of its chairman, Keith Hellawell. Under UK listing rules, the retailer had been forced to hold a general meeting to vote again on his reappointment after most independent shareholders voted against him at the company’s AGM last September.… Read the rest

CFA UK-backed study reveals continuing rising CEO pay

Research commissioned by CFA UK has examined the alignment of chief executive (CEO) pay and company value creation between 2003-2014/15 and found that total pay for the median CEO increased by 82% in real terms over the period. However, the median FTSE-350 company generated little in the way of a meaningful economic profit over the period 2003-2009 , and although performance improved from 2010 onwards the median firm generated less than 1% economic return on invested capital.… Read the rest

OECD Consults on Guidance to Support Firms Implement its Guidelines for MNEs

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is consulting on general Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct and supplemental advice to provide practical support to companies on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

This general guidance builds on the sectoral guidance already published or being developed by the OECD.… Read the rest