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.

Has the UK's pay simplification project hit the buffers before leaving the station?

Last week’s unprecedented result at the AGM of Weir plc – 72.3% against the  remuneration policy vote and 72.24% agains the vote on LTIP amendments (both binding votes) raises some challenging questions for the UK’s pay simplification project currently sponsored by the Investment Association.

One of the central proposals of the interim report was abandoning conventional LTIPs in More…

More companies face investor concerns over pay at AGMs

Shareholders have again showed their discontent over excessive executive pay packages with large votes opposing remuneration reports and policies. Engineering company Weir lost its binding vote on its remuneration policy – with a 72% vote against – while at building materials supplier CRH there was a 41% vote in opposition to its policy although in its case the vote was advisory as More…

AIM market governance concerns dominate LSE AGM

ShareSoc, which represents individual investors, raised concerns about the regulation of the AIM smaller company market at the recent London Stock Exchange (LSE) AGM. The organisation’s director, Mark Bentley, accused the LSE of failing in its function as operator and regulator of the AIM market.

Speaking at LSE’s AGM Bentley said,  “Why does the LSE not do something about More…

Former BHS owner Philip Green under fire as retailer goes into administration

The conduct of the shareholders and previous owners of the privately owned British retailer, BHS, have come under scrutiny this week following the decision to put the company into administration. Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, managing directors at Duff & Phelps are acting as joint administrators of BHS and are seeking buyers for the business as a going concern. The More…

Shell audit conflict raises eyebrows at Standard Life

…as the UK’s Financial Reporting Council finalises auditor rules

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published final drafts of the latest UK corporate governance code and the associated guidance on audit committees so they will meet the requirements of forthcoming legislation on audit committees and auditor appointments. This forms part of the UK’s implementation of the EU’s Auditor Regulation and More…

Mitsubishi Motors admits to falsifying emissions data in Japan

The share price of Japanese car manufacturer, Mitsubishi Motors, has plunged as the company admitted that incorrect emissions data had been submitted to its government since 1991. Mitsubishi has apologised to shareholders, customers and stakeholders for the deception.

The company has appointed a special investigation committee made up of external lawyers under the chairmanship of Keiichi Watanbe, whose was formerly the superintending prosecutor at More…

Women gain more places on European company boards

A study of European companies, Realizing Europe’s Potential: Progress and Challenges, for the EU-backed European Women on Boards (EWoB) network has shown a steady rise in the number of women on their boards following the imposition of quotas in some markets. However, there is a concern across Europe that many of these appointments are at the non-executive director or supervisory board member More…

UK pay working group proposes reforms of executive pay

UK Pay for Performance not Fit for Purpose Increasing disparity between CEO & stakeholder rewards Scepticism and loss of public confidence in business

Coming in the wake of some large votes by UK shareholders against executive pay, the Executive Remuneration Working Group launched by the Investment Association has produced its interim report providing recommendations that it hopes will More…

Oxfam says food companies need to improve supply chains

The 10 largest global food companies have made commitments to improve social and environmental standards in their vast supply chains, according to anti-poverty charity, Oxfam. However, in an assessment of its three-year ‘behind the brands campaign’ Oxfam also said that much more power and much more of the value that the companies’ products generate needs to reach the farmers More…

UK companies increasingly look externally for CEO recruits

UK companies appointed more chief executives (CEOs) from outside their companies in 2015 than ever before according to a global survey of CEO succession conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The study which tracks CEO  succession in 2,500 publicly listed companies, including 300 in the UK, showed that over half (58%) of all CEO appointments to UK companies in 2015 were external hires. This More…