Britain’s Bankers: Still Cashing In

Earlier this year Manifest was approached by Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary team to help them with a review of executive pay following the revelations of Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension arrangements. In this episode, “Britain’s Bankers: Still Cashing In”, Manifest works with journalist Jane Moore to help her understand the complexities of executive pay and look back over the past decade to see how pay at UK banks grew exponentially.… Read the rest

Manifest in the press: Guardian, FT

The Financial Times

The Shell No vote was the second biggest against a UK company’s remuneration report this year, topped only by the 80 per cent of votes cast against Royal Bank of Scotland, according to Manifest, the voting agency.Read the rest

Shell Remuneration Defeat

Royal Dutch Shell today suffered one of the UK’s all time biggest ever shareholder revolts with a 57.1% vote Against the remuneration report vote.  Since the introduction of the Directors Remuneration Report Regulations in 2002 only two other FTSE100 companies have lost their say on pay vote: RBS in 2009 with 80.14% and GlaxoSmithKline in 2003 with 38% Against,  37% For and 25% Abstain.… Read the rest

Treasury Select Committee calls for governance overhaul

Banks were ownerless corporations whose shareholders gave their governance role a low priority. That’s just one of  the damning conclusions from the UK’s Treasury Committee which has released its third report on the Banking Crisis. The report entitled “Banking Crisis: reforming corporate governance and pay in the City” has a wide brief looking not just at City pay but also the wider network of players involved in the crisis: non-executive directors;  institutional shareholders;  auditors and credit rating agencies, all of whom, the report states, “failed to act as a check on, and balance to, senior managers and the executive boards of banks.”

On Non-executive Directors

Although it will come as no surprise to governance veterans, John McFall, Chairman of the Committee has expressed his “shock” at finding that non-executive directors are holding down multiple senior roles  saying “This simply cannot have given them the time to conduct proper oversight.… Read the rest

GSK seeks first exemption for audit partner signing

GlaxoSmithKline’s May 20th AGM will be asking shareholders to exempt the auditor partner from signing the audit in his or her own name,  the first such case noted by Manifest.

The company says that, ‘For many years, the Company and its legacy companies, together with its employees, have been the focus of protests by various animal protection groups, some of which have engaged in aggressive, abusive and hostile acts.… Read the rest

Taking Aim at Target

 The Nominees for Shareholder Choice, better known as the Pershing Square Capital Management’s dissident director slate, have taken aim at Target’s board in the run-up the May 28 AGM. The nominees have issued a public letter spelling out 11 concerns including accusations of board cronyism, lack of experience, misleading shareholders and more.… Read the rest

Internet censorship, shareholders have their say

Investors in two major US Internet Service Providers (ISPs),  CenturyTel Inc and EarthLink Inc, have voted strongly in favour of a shareholder resolution which highlights Internet management practices at the ISPs and their role in Internet privacy and censorship.

The resolutions, which were filed and voted on for the first time this year, attracted 30.49% of the vote at CenturyTel and 9.25% at EarthLink.… Read the rest

CEE/BRIC more English ESG reports

Partner for Financial Stability has released its latest finding on reporting quality in Central and Eastern Europe, noting a significant increase in the number of CEE blue chip companies issuing stand-alone English-language environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports.

The number of companies offering an English report has now reach 41 compared with 28 companies in September 2008.… Read the rest

TUI’s marathon AGM, Fredriksen rebuffed, again

TUI’s Hanover AGM was finally closed by the chairman at  21:00 on 13 May having started at noon.  Monteray Enterprises, TUI’s largest shareholder, failed in its efforts to remove two members of Supervisory Board; appoint two representatives of Monteray to the Supervisory Board; and to request two ‘Special Audits’.… Read the rest

AGMs get heated: insults, eggs, now riots

Not so very long ago the AGM season passed the greater world largely unnoticed. Then in 1995 came the Cedric the pig, the mixed metaphor’d ‘fat cat with his snout in the trough’. We have then seen Hugh and his followers with their chickens at Tesco and this year, Fortis shareholders arming themselves with coins, shoes and voting machines against their board. … Read the rest