US Council of Institutional Investors speaks out against regressive “Choice” Act

The US Council of Institutional of Investors (CII) has written to the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee objecting to a number of proposals in its Financial CHOICE Act – which has now been approved by committee.

This proposed law is part of earlier attempts by the Committee – in a series of bills passed in the summer – to repeal large chunks of the Dodd-Frank Act which was enacted following the 2008 financial crash and subsequent recession and aimed to address some of the failings of the financial system.… Read the rest

UK’s public pension funds boosted by new ESG investment guidance

Responsible investment advocates have welcomed the government’s Local Government Pension Scheme guidance which provides a less prescriptive framework for investing as part of the requirement for local authorities to prepare their own investment strategy statement.

The guidance is to enable local authority pension schemes to meet the obligations of new regulations due to come into force next year.… Read the rest

Sports Direct governance changes – too little or too early to tell?

Retailer Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey has resigned to be replaced by Mike Ashley, founder of the company, its major shareholder and previously executive deputy chairman. No reason for his departure has been given but the resignation follows months of criticism of the company because of its working practices and poor corporate governance.… Read the rest

GSK announces new CEO to replace Witty

Alas, it seems we are still some years away from simply announcing the appointment of a new CEO rather than focussing on their gender – or in the case of some newspapers, their domestic arrangements. As a case in point, the mainstream media was particularly excited last week by the appointment of a Emma Walmsley who will be replacing Andrew Witty as CEO of the pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).… Read the rest

Global board diversity: traditional thinking holding back progress

While there has been more debate about achieving more diversity on company boards, the Global Board of Directors survey 2016 has found that despite the intense investor and media scrutiny – public company directors are no more diverse that the private companies whose directors participated in the survey.… Read the rest

UK MPs launch corporate governance inquiry

The  House of Commons’ Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) Committee has launched an inquiry on corporate governance, focussing on executive pay, directors duties, and the composition of boardrooms, including worker representation and gender balance in executive positions.

This follows the committee’s inquiries into the corporate collapse of  retailer, BHS, and the working practices at Sports Direct and the announcement by Theresa May that the government will be consulting on corporate governance issues this autumn – including her proposals on executive pay and employee representation on company boards.… Read the rest

Company boards should examine bonus pay structures CIMA suggests

The UK has the second-least meritocratic bonus system in the world, according to a global poll of 6,500 financial decision makers carried out by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The organisation is calling for bonus systems to be designed to encourage long-term success rather than only short-term performance.… Read the rest

TUC criticises UK pay gap

The TUC has claimed that it took the the UK’s highest paid chief executive (CEO), Martin Sorrell, less than 45 minutes to earn what an average UK worker earns over an entire year, following its analysis published at its annual congress held this week.… Read the rest

Sports Direct takes action to respond to criticisms of working practices and corporate governance

Major institutional investors were among those criticising retailer Sports Direct at its AGM this week and showed their disquiet about the company through their votes. The majority of independent shareholders voted against the re-election of the chairman Keith Hellawell and in favour of a shareholder resolution put forward by the Trade Union Share Owners (TUSO) group and Islington Council calling for an independent investigation into how the company treats its workers.… Read the rest

UK government to consult on PM’s corporate governance pledges

Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking at the end of her first G20 summit held in Hangzhou, China, pledged to bring forward a consultation paper this autumn suggesting reforms to corporate governance at UK companies.

This indicates that May will be taking action on issues she first raised at the start of her campaign to stand as  Conservative Party leader and which she believes fit with her pledge as Prime Minister to govern in a way that benefits everyone and gives them a share of economic improvements and increased prosperity.… Read the rest