Goodbye PGI – Thanks for everything

It was with great sadness that Steve Wallman, founder of ProxyGovernance Inc, let the team at Manifest know that PGI would be closing its doors at the end of the year. Manifest has worked closely with the PGI team since its inception.… Read the rest

“Excessive” bonuses lead to higher dissent

One of the questions faced by investors when considering say on pay votes is whether the payout is appropriate. While salary may be easily compared against peers, assessing how appropriate the bonus is may not be so straightforward. To try to get a clearer perspective on such a hot topic, Manifest teamed up with Swiss research organisation, Obermatt, in an effort to objectively analyse bonus payouts.… Read the rest

Disqualifications of James Hardie directors overturned

The NSW Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of the NSW Supreme Court in respect of seven directors who had received bans on serving as directors. The Supreme Court had found that they had breached their duties to the company (James Hardie)  in 2001 over a misleading media release about asbestos compensation.… Read the rest

US Senate to investigate securities lending

Obscure securities lending practices have been a cause for concern for the governance community in recent years as the ability to recall shares at short notice can negatively impact investors’ ability to vote at general meetings.

The US Senate is now adding its weight to worries about the industry and is launching an investigation into the securities-lending practices of defined benefit and defined contribution pension funds, according to a recent article in Pensions & Investments.… Read the rest

Law on ‘unfair remuneration’ one step closer in Switzerland

The Swiss Council of States (the upper house of the Swiss Federal Assembly) has discussed an amendment to Swiss company law in an attempt to encourage Thomas Minder to withdraw his proposed referendum to insert provisions on directors pay into the Swiss Constitution.… Read the rest

Stewardship Code – FairPensions starts benchmarking

Responsible investment charity FairPensions has published the first comprehensive analysis of  the UK’s leading asset managers’ approach to the Stewardship Code. Despite “encouraging signs of improvement”, FairPensions’ research reveals that 41% of the asset managers fail to publicly disclose information relating to their engagement activities and just 31% provide detailed explanations of their engagements.… Read the rest

Report on French Code shows increase in CAC40 combined Chair/CEOs

AFEP-MEDEF has released their second annual report on the application of the French Corporate Governance Code (AFEP-MEDEF Code) by companies in the SBF 120 index. The report highlights an increase from 34% to 40% in the percentage of companies in the CAC 40 where the roles of Chairman and CEO are combined.… Read the rest

French President takes away voting rights of foreign shareholders

French Company Law now has  a further measure which French companies can use to block dissident shareholders from using their influence at general meetings of shareholders. On 8 December 2010, the French President signed into law an an amendment to the Commercial Code, one part of which inserts three additional sections relating to voting at general meetings.… Read the rest

Regulators help investors who help themselves

The British, or should that be the English, and in particular those living South of the M25, have developed a bit of a reputation in recent years. Well probably many reputations. What we’re thinking of is their inclination to be reticent about speaking their mind on issues which aggravate them.… Read the rest