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Welcome to Manifest-I the blog of Manifest Information Services Ltd. Here we take a wide ranging view of topical governance and stewardship issues. Please feel free to add your comments and join the debate. Sign up to receive free weekly updates.

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NZX’s revised Corporate Governance Code Published

New Zealand corporate governance code

The NZX’s revised corporate governance code (the NZX Code) and its supporting rule amendments have been published. The New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) which administers the code said this was the first substantial update since 2003 and represented a significant step forward for corporate governance reporting requirements in New Zealand.… Read the rest

UK Pre-Emption Group reviews Statement of Principles implementation

The Pre-Emption Group has published a monitoring report looking at implementation of the 2015 Statement of Principles and the template resolutions. The principles relate to the when considering the case for disapplying pre-emption rights
Pre-Emption Group:

Robert Swannell, Chairman of Marks & Spencer Group plc and the Pre-Emption Group

Over the course of the year, the template resolutions and the Statement of Principles have generally been followed.… Read the rest

Trump puts off decision on Paris climate change agreement

US Paris Climate Change Agreement

Following recent concerns that US could pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, President Trump has put off his decision on this until he returns from the G7 group meeting being held at the end of the month.

Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, said recently that the President had been meeting with his team for quite a while and wanted to continue to meet with them.… Read the rest

ShareAction: Investors to oppose BP and Shell’s pay policies

BP remuneration policy

Responsible investment pressure group, ShareAction is calling on investors to oppose the executive pay policies of oil companies, Shell and BP, arguing that they are not aligned with the long-term interests of shareholders.
ShareAction said that the remuneration for executives at both oil companies is rewarding the achievement of corporate strategies which could put shareholder value at risk as the economy shifts towards low carbon energy production.… Read the rest

Shareholders vote down Pearson’s remuneration report

Pearson remuneration report

Educational services company Pearson, lost the vote on its remuneration report at its AGM last week (5th May). There were also significant votes opposing the company’s remuneration policy and the re-election of the remuneration committee chair.

If abstention votes are included in the total of votes there was a 61% vote against the remuneration report, 32% vote in favour and 7% abstention rate.… Read the rest

Fortune 500: clean energy target increase

Donald Trump Paris climate change agreement

Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies—48%—have at least one climate or clean energy target, according to a report from WWF, Calvert Investments, CDP and Ceres. This is up 5% from an earlier 2014 report.

Power Forward 3.0 also found that the top companies the Fortune 100 continue to take the lead in tackling climate change with 63% of Fortune 100 companies have set one or more clean energy targets.… Read the rest

FRC begins probe of KPMG and its Rolls-Royce audit

Rolls-Royce audit bribery KPMG

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has commenced an investigation under its audit enforcement procedure into the conduct of KPMG, in relation to its audit of Rolls-Royce’s financial statements from 2010 to 2013.

The FRC’s investigation follows an announcement in January that a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) had been reached between the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the engineering company.… Read the rest

Guidance on stewardship code in Japan published

Japan corporate governance code

Guidance on Stewardship Code for institutional investors in Japan to perform their duties effectively has been published by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Generation Foundation as part of its series on Fiduciary Duty in the 21st century.… Read the rest

Wells Fargo shareholders demonstrate their discontent

Wells Fargo

Shareholders in scandal-hit US bank Wells Fargo gave the company a signal of their dissatisfaction in voting at its recent AGM.

While the re-election of the directors was passed with the majority of votes cast the proportion in favour for many of the directors was considerably lower than normal.… Read the rest

CII voices opposition to Republicans’ Financial CHOICE Act

Financial Choice Act

The US Council of Institutional Investors (CII) has voiced its opposition to aspects of the Republicans’ Financial CHOICE Act which was formally introduced by the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling this week.

Hensarling believes the Act is a replacement for what he terms the “failed” Dodd-Frank Act which was enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.… Read the rest