Ireland’s Financial Regulator publishes corporate governance consultation responses

Some responses to the Consultation Paper on Corporate Governance Requirements for credit institutions and insurance undertakings have now been published on the website of the Irish Financial Regulator. The Consultation Paper proposed a regulatory framework for corporate governance for credit institutions and insurance undertakings, setting out minimum standards to be met.… Read the rest

NZ company law to allow electronic voting

In a speech to the New Zealand Shareholders Association Conference and AGM, the NZ Commerce Minister, Simon Power, has pledged to include in the Regulatory Reform (Omnibus) Bill 2010, which is currently being drafted, provisions allowing for electronic participation in shareholder meetings.… Read the rest

Annual director elections – is there another way?

The debate around comply or explain as a concept took an interesting turn last week when three of the UK’s largest pension fund investors publicly broke ranks on the issue of annual director elections. In a letter published in the Financial Times, Railpen, USS and Hermes, the three largest UK pension funds with £106bn assets under management outlined their concerns that the UK Governance Code’s recommendation for annual director elections could foster a short-termist approach.… Read the rest

South African Stewardship Code being drafted

The South African Times has reported that a ‘group of stakeholders within the investor community have with the assistance of The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) convened a committee for the drafting of a code for responsible shareholder investing’.… Read the rest

US investors get say on pay

 The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill  was voted through by both the House of Representatives and Senate by 237-192 and 60-39 respectively. The legislation is now expected to be signed into law by President Obama as early as this week. 

The passage of the bill is particularly significant for the corporate governance community which worked together to ensure that potentially crippling riders on proxy access were omitted from the final text.… Read the rest

EU warns on board diversity

The threat of quotas to improve board diversity moved a step closer last week with EU Fundamental Rights Commissioner Viviane Reding telling the European parliament: “Equality in decision-making is not yet a fact … I do not rule out the possibility of putting forward legislation in this area.”

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper her spokesman , Matthew Newman, said that the Luxembourgeois commissioner is “giving companies a year to sort out imbalances.… Read the rest

SEC gets to grips with proxy plumbing

Fair corporate suffrage is an important right that should attach to every equity security
Source: United States Congress, 1934

There’s no small irony that the first shareholder voting regulations were introduced in the aftermath of ‘The Great Crash’. Now, another market collapse has brought regulators full circle and owners of US companies finally have their chance to realign their economic and ownership rights.

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SEC Proxy Plumbing concept release next week

The US Securities and Exchange Commission looks set to debate its “concept release” on the mechanics of the US proxy system next week.  According to an SEC announcement, the commission is scheduled to meet on July 14 at 10am to vote on the “concept release” seeking public comment on how to enhance the “efficiency and integrity” of the shareholder vote. … Read the rest

Irish Corporate Governance Code consultation opened

A consultation paper has been published by the Irish Stock Exchange in which it proposes the introduction of an Irish Corporate Governance Code, a draft copy of which has been published. The proposed Code supplements the existing Combined Code (being renamed the UK Corporate Governance Code) with some of the key recommendations of the report commissioned by the Irish Stock Exchange and the Irish Association of Investment Managers, published earlier in 2010.… Read the rest

UKSIF contemplates 10 years of SRI disclosures

Friends of the UK Sustainable Investment Forum (UKSIF) gathered at the Houses of Parliament on June 28th to celebrate the 10th anniversary of of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) regulation in the UK. UKSIF also launched a report that reflects upon the effects of the regulation and addresses important next steps for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues over the next 10 years.… Read the rest