Executives feel short-term pressure despite its costs research finds

New research from CLT Global (formerly “Focusing Capital on the Long Term”) highlights the challenges and costs that senior business executives world-wide are facing with the rise of short-termism.

The key findings of the report, are that 87% of executives report feeling the most pressure to demonstrate financial results within two years, up from 79% in a similar survey from 2013; emerging market executives were significantly more likely to report increasing short-term pressure (82%) than their peers in Europe (64%) or North American (65%); and executives from companies with a strong commitment to long-termism were 26% less likely to say they would decrease discretionary spending and 22% less likely to delay new projects to meet earnings targets when compared to their peers at more short-term oriented companies.… Read the rest

Shareholders urged to link executive pay at oil companies with climate change risks

UK investment campaign group ShareAction has urged investors to use the binding votes on remuneration policy at BP and Shell in 2017 to ensure the oil majors can demonstrate their commercial strategies are aligned with a move to a low carbon economy. … Read the rest

James Murdoch’s re-appointment as Sky chairman raises concerns

With broadcaster Sky’s AGM taking place on 13th October investors have a chance to show their concern about the re-appointment of James Murdoch as chairman of the company.

Murdoch has previously been chief executive and chairman at Sky. He stepped down as non-executive chairman in the 2012 financial year but continued as a non-executive director at Sky. … Read the rest

FTSE 100 improves carbon reporting and boosts commitment to green energy survey finds

Communications firm BT has topped the rankings of Carbon Clear’s assessment of FTSE 100 company’s carbon reporting for the third year running.

The carbon advisory service’s survey scores the companies based on their monitoring, reporting and verification; their carbon strategy; carbon reduction; stakeholder engagement and innovation.… Read the rest

Investors target food companies to urge encouragement of plant-based protein production

Forty institutional investors, including Coller Capital, three Swedish state pension funds, Aviva, Nordea and Robeco have launched an engagement with 16 multinational food companies highlighting the material risks posed by industrial animal production. The coalition, which together manages $1.25 trillion in assets, has written to the companies urging them to identify their plans to respond to this risk, in particular by encouraging them to set strategies to diversify into plant-based sources of protein.… Read the rest

Singapore tops 2016 Asian corporate governance rankings

CG Watch 2016, a survey of 12 major Asia-Pacific markets and 1,027 Asian companies has ranked Singapore as Asia’s top corporate governance (CG) performer followed by Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Korea, China, Philippines and Indonesia.

The biennial survey of Asian markets was carried out by brokerage and investment group CLSA in collaboration with the the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA ) and while Australia was included in the research it was excluded in the market rankings  so as not to skew past results as its CG score was significantly higher than top- ranked Singapore. … Read the rest

Thomson Reuters launches a global Diversity and Inclusion Index

Thomson Reuters has launched a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index which ranks the top 100 publicly traded companies globally with the most diverse and inclusive workplaces, as measured by 24 metrics across four key categories: diversity, inclusion, people development and news controversies.… Read the rest

Still work to do to get more women on boards globally

Researching the top 3,000 companies globally the percentage of women on boards reached 14.7% by the end of 2015 up from 12.7% in  2013 and 9.6% in 2010 according to the latest survey by the Credit Suisse (CS) Research Institute although rates of growth has varied between regions.… Read the rest

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