MEPs back new lead for Capital Markets Union

The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has backed the decision by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to transfer the EU’s financial stability, financial services and capital markets union portfolio to the Commission’s Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis. This follows the resignation of the British Commissioner Jonathan Hill after the UK’s referendum result which was in favour of leaving the EU.… Read the rest

HBOS & BHS audit investigations launched

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched two separate audit investigations,one into KPMG’s audit of HBOS in 2007 and secondly PricewaterhouseCoopers audit of BHS in 2014 – under its accountancy scheme which it allows it to take disciplinary action against members of the profession.… Read the rest

UK executive pay reforms drove reputation management study finds

The initial response of the top UK companies to new reporting requirements was not to curb executive pay or improve the link CEO pay and firm performance at FTSE 100 companies, but led instead to “opportunistic reporting for the sake of reputation management,” says a study from Cambridge Judge Business School and King’s College London.… Read the rest

Sustainability needs to move into the mainstream business and climate summit told

The Paris climate change agreement has mobilised business and investors to take more action to reduce carbon emissions but to get the estimated $5 trillion a year of investment needed to move to a low carbon economy there needs to be a shift in thinking so that sustainable investment becomes part of mainstream investment speakers at the recent business and climate summit in London said.… Read the rest

Volkswagen settles with US authorities and diesel car owners

German car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW), which last year admitted to falsifying emissions data in its diesel cars around the world, has reached a $10.03 billion settlement with US authorities and former and current diesel car owners.

If approved by US regulators, VW has agreed to buy back cars, terminate lease deals or modify cars for free.… Read the rest

Companies globally are missing out on human capital

Countries – and therefore the companies within them – are missing huge opportunities when it comes to making the most of their populations’ economic potential, with only 65% on average of the world’s talent being optimised during all stages of the working life time, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Human Capital Report 2016.… Read the rest

US falling behind on sustainability reporting says SEC chair White

Sustainability reporting in the US needs improvement according to the chair of its Security and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, in her key note address at the International Corporate Governance Network conference that took place in San Francisco this week.

She said the regulator, along with companies and investors, needed to do more work on sustainability reporting  including on whether, when, where, and how to provide disclosure and what precisely should be provided.… Read the rest

South African directors positive about governance

In the first survey of director sentiment in South Africa conducted by the country’s Institute of Directors (IoDSA) its top bosses are more positive than negative in their perceptions of governance in contrast to their economics and business sentiments which are more negative.… Read the rest

Australian Institute of Company Directors calls for direct voting at AGMs

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) is supporting reforms of the traditional company AGM system. The Australian federal government’s consultation has just ended on proposals to allow electronic forms of communication as the default method of providing shareholders with the notice of meetings and for proxy materials and meeting papers to be accessed on company websites.… Read the rest

Forced labour supply chains: HP tops ranking of analysis of IT sector

The first benchmark findings on the efforts of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies to mitigate forced labour in their supply chains have been published by KnowTheChain a project of Humanity United a US-based foundation tackling global injustice issues. KnowTheChain said while the ICT sector is showing some commitment and action to tackle labour issues, there is still far more to be done.… Read the rest

Aligning board talent and company strategy is a key challenge survey finds

Aligning board talent with a company’s long-term strategy is a critical challenge for three-quarters of corporate directors according to a global survey by KPMG’s Board Leadership Center. The advisory firm surveyed more than 2,300 directors and senior executives across 46 countries and found that three in five want more diversity and viewpoints on the board.… Read the rest

Global investors condemn US attempt to undermine voting decisions

Moves to regulate proxy research would undermine relationships with shareholders, compromise research integrity and eliminate competition say global investors.

Proposed regulation contradicts moves to improve objectivity in sell-side space.

The US House of Representatives’ Finance Services Committee last week passed a series of  Bills which seek to repeal large chunks of the Dodd-Frank Act which was passed in response to the 2008 financial crash.… Read the rest