Welcome to Manifest-I

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.

Manifest is a signatory of the Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research

Delivering Diverse Viewpoints

In the pursuit of secure investment returns, diverse viewpoints based on high-quality data and varied information are critical for portfolio construction. We believe that share ownership is no different. Manifest intelligently navigates the complexities of global governance and voting delivering actionable and defensible stewardship insights.

Manifest: showing, not telling

Get in touch to find out more about Manifest's governance research, data and advisory services

Pension funds should work to encourage better human capital reporting

human capital reporting

Diandra Soobiah, Senior Research Analyst at NEST, the UK government’s auto-enrolment pensions provider has argued for pension funds to work together to encourage companies to improve their disclosure of human capital information.

In an article written for Professional Pensions and available on the trade union Unite’s pensions activist website Soobiah said that the adoption of automatic enrolment in the UK meant the number of workers enrolled in defined contribution (DC) workplace schemes is expected to rise to 17 million by 2030.… Read the rest

ShareAction expands to take over the Asset Owners Disclosure Project

Shareaction Asset Owners Disclosure Project

Responsible investment pressure group ShareAction has taken over the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), which has worked to improve the management of climate risk investors have in their portfolios and to improve the level of disclosure about those risks.

For the past 10 years, the AODP has ranked the climate-related financial disclosures of the world’s largest pension funds, insurers, sovereign wealth funds and endowments,  and this work will be continued by ShareAction.… Read the rest

US pension funds urge for opposition vote at Mylan over executive pay

Mylan director pay vote

A coalition of institutional investors is gathering support for a campaign for a vote against six directors and executive pay at the pharmaceuticals company, Mylan which has faced controversy over raising prices for its EpiPen product. Its AGM is due to take place on 22nd June.… Read the rest

UK’s FRC: More work is needed to improve audit quality for all companies

Financial Reporting Council FRC audit quality

The quality of audits of FTSE 350 companies in the UK has steadily improved over recent years, according to the latest audit reviews undertaken by the country’s regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), however more work is needed to ensure improvements of audits of smaller companies.… Read the rest

Thames Water fined over missed leakage reduction target

Thames Water fined

The water sector regulator, Ofwat, has fined Thames Water the maximum automatic penalty it can of £8.55m for admitting in this year’s report and accounts that it will miss its leakage reduction targets for the first time 11 years. Ofwat said the penalty is borne by the company alone and cannot be passed on to customers.… Read the rest

Anbang boss is caught up in Chinese corruption allegations

Chinese Anbang corruption

Wu Xiaohui, chairman of insurer Anbang, has been arrested, according to widespread reports, due to a crackdown on alleged corruption in the financial sector by the Chinese government. Reports of the arrest first appeared in the Chinese news magazine Caijing, although the Guardian newspaper said this report was then deleted which highlighted the sensitivity of the case.… Read the rest

Morrisons: Remuneration report vote passed narrowly

Morrisons vote pay

Shareholders in Morrisons only narrowly backed the supermarket chain’s remuneration report at the AGM vote this week (15th June) with the proxy voting results showing that the company received a 48% vote against. However, the binding vote on its remuneration policy was passed with 92% support.… Read the rest

Uber CEO takes indefinite leave as firm vows to improve corporate culture

Travis Kalanick Uber

The board of the technology-driven ride-hailing company, Uber, has vowed to improve its corporate culture following a report which recommended sweeping reforms. However, it has been widely reported that its chief executive Travis Kalanick has taken indefinite leave.

Despite talk about a possible listing Uber remains a private US-headquartered company but is now an international brand and is valued at $68bn.… Read the rest

US House of Representatives passes Financial CHOICE Act

Financial Choice Act

The US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Financial CHOICE Act despite strong lobbying against the legislation by institutional investors. The bill will now move to the Senate where its expected to face tough opposition.

The Council of Institutional Investors (CII), which has led the fight against the bill championed by Jeb Hensarling, chair of the House Finance Committee,  expressed disappointment at the House giving its approval with the voting following party lines.… Read the rest

Upcoming Renault AGM results will be closely watched by investors

Renault governance pay

French carmaker Renault will be holding its AGM on 15th June and its voting results will be closely watched due to longstanding concerns about its governance and after its vote on pay was defeated last year.

The pay of Carl Ghosn, chief executive and president, was under scrutiny last year and only received 46% of votes in favour of his pay package. … Read the rest