Invisible democracy hits Italian board slates

Investment bank Mediobanca is said to have reached a unanimous agreement on the Assicurazioni Generali board list which will include a new chairman for Europe’s third biggest insurer.

Generali is, as the FT puts it “arguably Italy’s most important financial institution” and Mediobanca “did not even bother to announce formally its nominees for the top positions and board of Generali.… Read the rest

The award for the worst voting deadline of the year so far…

goes to Australian-listed Qbe Insurance Group Ltd at 32 days. But before company secretary Duncan Ramsay throws himself onto his letter opener, it’s not his fault. Yes we are back to the wretched “chain of intermediaries” again. As one of our senior developers muttered into his coffee this morning: “This just seems a ridiculous situation in the 2nd decade of the 21st century.… Read the rest

US investors get to grips with managing “Say on Pay”

As shareholders grapple with how to vote on an increasing number of management say on pay (MSOP) proposals at US companies – and companies face increasing pressure to adopt the practice – various players in the industry are providing suggestions on how best to handle from both perspectives.… Read the rest

Daimler and the value of internal audit

The $185 million in civil and criminal payments agreed in a U.S. courtroom last week by the German car maker Daimler have been widely reported. What has been less well covered is the role of the internal audit team that could have prevented the wreck in the first place.… Read the rest

What can the Maori meaning of governance teach us?

As Western economies tie themselves in knots trying to protect financial markets from future harm and arguing about what role governance plays in that process, commentators have been struggling to define governance and who should be responsible for it. We found this very apposite quote from New Zealand’s Business Day blog “Stirring the Pot” which was discussing a Massey University governance conference.… Read the rest