SEC taps investors for input

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has announced the creation of new advisory committee which is intended to give investors a greater opportunity for input on the Commission’s reform program.

SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar is the primary sponsor of the 18-person committee which will cover a broad work plan, including: 

  1. Advising the Commission on matters of concern to investors in the securities markets;
  2. Providing the Commission with investors’ perspectives on current, non-enforcement, regulatory issues; and
  3. Serving as a source of information and recommendations to the Commission regarding the Commission’s regulatory programs from the point of view of investors.
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Historic Royal Dutch Shell settlement with non-US shareholders

Royal Dutch Shell is to pay $381 million plus interest to a foundation representing over 150 institutional investors in nineteen countries. The settlement, following a binding declaration by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals, is considered to be a milestone, given that European courts lack a class action mechanism for pursuing securities fraud claims.… Read the rest

Big protest vote at Tomkins AGM

At today’s AGM of Tomkins plc (FTSE 250 constituent), only 38.8% of shareholders voted in favour of the remuneration report resolution. Measured in terms of dissent (61.2%), the rebellion against the remuneration report ranks just outside the top ten all-time for such resolutions, however the resolution did manage to pass.… Read the rest

Press Roundup: Voting Trends, Lloyds

On Shareolder Voting Trends

… It shows that the average level of support for management proposals rose from 75.8% in 2006 to 84% last year. In Europe, Manifest, a shareholder-advice firm, says 97% of all shareholder votes cast in Europe last year were supportive of management….… Read the rest

Bosses’ pay and WPP

You don’t need telling that the onset of the worst global recession since the 1930s has led to a sharp rise in bankruptcies among small businesses and to hundreds of thousands of job losses.

But 2008 wasn’t especially painful for a typical chief executive of a FTSE 100 company, according to a new independent survey by Manifest, the “governance” service that advises big investors.

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In the Press: European investors balk at director pay

“Voting down Shell’s pay plan sent a chastened company back to consult over revised proposals. It also set a new high-water mark for annual meetings in a year marked by battles about pay across Europe and an increase in No votes.… Read the rest

Ireland ‘Say-on-Pay’ gathers momentum

Manifest’s campaign to ensure shareholders at Irish companies have the opportunity to cast an advisory vote on the remuneration report gathered momentum over the weekend, with a full page article in the Irish edition of The Sunday Times.  Last month Manifest filed shareholder resolutions at five Irish companies seeking an advisory say-on-pay vote.… Read the rest