BEIS select committee discusses the future of work

UK corporate governance

Speaking at an evidence gathering session for the Future of Work inquiry being conducted by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy parliamentary select committee Steve Turner, assistant general secretary at the Unite Union said that his union had predominantly come across the “criminal and dodgy” agencies that existed to exploit the workforce.… Read the rest

Tesco avoids prosecution for 2014 false accounting with fine

Tesco renewable electricity

Tesco has reached an agreement with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) which, if approved by the court, will allow it to pay a fine for its false accounting in 2014 rather than face prosecution. Separately it has agreed with the Financial Conduct Agreement (FCA) that it will pay compensation to investors for market abuse when it presented misleading trading statements in August 2014.… Read the rest

Global sustainable investment assets rise sharply

Global Sustainable Investment Alliance

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) has released its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016, which shows that global sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investment assets reached $22.89 trillion at the start of 2016,  25% more than in 2014.

The report brings together the findings of the sustainable investment forums from Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand.… Read the rest

Minister urges FTSE 350 CEOs to improve staff diversity

FTSE 350 staff diversity

Business Minister Margot James has written to the chief executives of all FTSE 350 companies urging them to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

This follows the publication of the findings of a review led by Baroness McGregor-Smith last month.… Read the rest

Boards need to work to rebuild trust in business

business trust Ecoda

Encouraging responsible leadership by company boards so that businesses contribute to wider society was the theme of the recent discussion organised by the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations (ecoDa) and Standard Life Investments. This was building on a vision of the role of business begun by the World Economic Forum.… Read the rest

OECD: Guidance for institutional investors launched

OECD Corporate Governance Principles

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published its paper, Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors, which explains how they can apply the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

The paper was launched online by the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) which is leading a project to support investors to adhere to the OECD guidelines.… Read the rest

New stewardship guidance for DB schemes

The Pensions Regulator DB guidance

The UK’s Pensions Regulator, TPR, has issued new investment guidance for defined benefit pension schemes including  expanded duties on stewardship, sustainability, ESG and voting issues.

The guidance follows the common principles set out in TPR’s DC investment guidance together with some specific considerations relevant to defined benefit schemes.… Read the rest

Chilling, excessive rules for shareholder activists and analysts

Texan state legislature disclosure act

Shareholder activists and proxy analysts face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 if they fail to comply with a new regulations being proposed in the USA.

The US state legislature in Texas has proposed a bill, which would, if passed, require activist investors and proxy advisory firms owning or commenting on Texan publicly-listed companies adhere to new disclosure requirements that go far beyond current federal rules.… Read the rest

Shareholders reject Crest Nicholson’s pay report

Crest Nicholson logo

FTSE 250 construction company Crest Nicholson, which emphasises its sustainable approach to housing developments, had its remuneration report rejected by shareholders at its AGM this week. There was a 58% vote against the non-binding annual remuneration implementation report. In a separate binding vote on the company’s remuneration policy there was a 96% vote in favour.… Read the rest

Deutsche Börse announces sustainable finance initiative

Deutsche Borse ESG

The German stock exchange, Deutsche Börse, is to launch a sustainable finance initiative in May with the aim of establishing new interdisciplinary structures for sustainable entrepreneurship along with some 100 of the financial centre’s key participants in order to explore new business areas.… Read the rest