Single Figure Calculations prove tricky for Legal & General

The insurer and institutional investor Legal & General plc (L&G), had to correct its annual report pay figures for chief executive, Nigel Wilson, on the eve of its AGM last week (26th May).

L&G, whose investment division LGIM is active in corporate governance issues, admitted that awards from Wilson’s 2012 performance share plan had not been included because originally they had looked at the 2016 exercise date rather than when they vested in 2015.… Read the rest

VW shareholder resolution requests a special audit of ‘dieselgate’ scandal

The German investors’ association, DSW, has tabled a shareholder resolution to be considered at next month’s AGM of carmaker Volkswagen (VW), which is proposing a special audit into the actions of its directors in respect of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal. Last year the company admitted falsifying emissions test results in its diesel cars around the world.… Read the rest

Shell has muted opposition to executive pay but Standard Life continues to raise auditor concerns

Royal Dutch Shell experienced a relatively modest level of investor opposition to its executive remuneration report at its recent AGM with a 14% vote against, this follows the rival oil company BP’s loss of its pay vote last month. However, Manifest data shows it is the highest level of opposition Shell has received in the past six years – although it hovered between 10% and 11% between 2012 and 2014.… Read the rest

AXA divests from tobacco companies

Insurer and investment company, AXA, has taken the decision to stop investing in tobacco companies, due to the public health risks of smoking.

AXA said that as a responsible investor and health insurer it had considered that increasingly healthcare was about prevention rather than cure and with smoking being the greatest risk to public health in the world today it made sense to divest its tobacco industry assets valued at €1.8bn.… Read the rest

Swiss pensions funds could improve on responsible investment says new study

Environmental charity, WWF, together with Responsible Investment (RI) pressure group ShareAction, has carried out the first survey examining the RI approaches of the 20 largest Swiss pension funds. The study analysed how far pension funds invest their beneficiaries’ money sustainably and whether they transparently provide them with information.… Read the rest

Investors call for systematic climate-related risk reporting

A group of institutional investors has called on companies to assess and report their climate-related risks within their annual report to shareholders, in the interests of prudent and long-term capital stewardship.

The position paper has been signed by Natasha Landell-Mills, head of stewardship at Sarasin & Partners;  Councillor Kieran Quinn, chair of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, Ashley Hamilton Claxton, corporate governance manager at Royal London Asset Management,  John David, head of Rathbone Greenbank Investments and Adam Matthews, head of engagement for the Church Commissioners and Pensions Board of the Church of England.… Read the rest

Oil company climate change reporting demand gains traction

Shareholder resolutions requesting reporting on how oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron will adapt to climate change targets received record investor backing at their AGMs last week (25th May), according to US pressure group, Ceres.

The resolution that would have required ExxonMobil to prepare an annual report examining the implications to the company’s business if world leaders follow through on their pledges to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels, received 38% of the vote while a similar resolution put before Chevron’s investors got 41% backing from shareholders.… Read the rest

UK’s Financial Reporting Council provides feedback on succession planning consultation

Achieving greater board diversity to improve company performance was the most pressing concern of respondents to the UK’s Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) succession planning consultation.

The FRC’s feedback statement on the consultation found that respondents believed that boards as a whole should be better informed about the link between diversity, strategy and business value.… Read the rest

Short-term shareholders damage UK companies and wider economy claim two new reports

British companies are losing out – potentially by over £130bn a year – because they lack clear corporate purposes that unite all stakeholders in common goals and values, according to the interim report by the Purposeful Company Taskforce, which was established by the Big Innovation Centre.… Read the rest

UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission produces guidance for company boards

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a guide for UK boards to ensure that they are taking human rights seriously and meeting their international obligations.

The guide provides five steps boards should follow to satisfy themselves that their companies identify, mitigate and report on the human rights impacts of their activities.… Read the rest