Richard Branson adds voice to social justice campaign

UK founder of the Virgin-branded companies and philanthropist, Sir Richard Branson, has added his voice to a campaign against inequality, in a video which explains why he believes social justice is good for business.

He talks about meeting a 79 year old great-grandfather in Africa who had electricity for the first time and how he could see this would change the future of his family.… Read the rest

Sir Philip Green refuses to be phased by MP’s questions on BHS collapse

The UK’s parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of the retailer, BHS, continued lastweek with the questioning of Sir Philip Green, the chairman of Arcadia and former owner of the business. MPs tried to relate Green’s conduct in relation to the BHS pension fund, which has a £571m deficit, and the sale of the business to Dominic Chappell to broader questions of corporate governance and responsibility.… Read the rest

$4.8 trillion investor coalition backs first business and human rights benchmark

A coalition of over 80 institutional investors, with $4.8 trillion in assets under management, has pledged support for the creation of the  Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) – the world’s first wide-scale benchmark on companies’ human rights policies, processes and practices.… Read the rest

Finance companies lag on diversity

Big challenges remain if the financial sector is to make last changes to improve the diversity of their executives following the UK’s Gadhia Review and the launch of the government’s Women in Finance Charter, according to the think tank, New Financial.… Read the rest

European Responsible Investment Network is formed

A new Civil Society Organisation (CSO), the European Responsible Investment Network (ERIN), was launched last week at a conference in Berlin. The network is made up of 25 organisations from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.… Read the rest

Groups call for more radical thinking on executive pay

More radical solutions to rising executive pay need to be found than those proposed by the Investment Association’s Executive Remuneration Working Group in its recent interim report, according to the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) and the High Pay Centre.… Read the rest

WPP’s remuneration vote passes – with higher dissent

Despite public calls for pension funds to vote against WPP’s remuneration report at its AGM this week (8th June) the resolution was passed with 33.5% dissent – higher than 2015’s 22.2% protest vote.

ShareAction had condemned the chief executive’s (CEO) Sir Martin Sorrell’s £70m pay packet, which makes him the highest paid CEO in the FTSE 100.… Read the rest

Missing human capital data means annual reports are not providing a clear picture of the business, report states

Around a third (30%) of FTSE 100 companies are withholding relevant information from their annual reports and painting an inaccurate picture of opportunity and risk, according to a research report from the Valuing Your Talent partnership which includes The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).… Read the rest

US remuneration committee chairs get less support after losing say on pay votes, study finds

Executive pay firm, Semler Brossey, has analysed the relationship between the shareholder support given in elections of remuneration committee members and chairs and the result of the say on pay votes at US company AGMs.

The study of director election results between 2014 and 2016 found that over 80% of director elections have received vote support above 95% and only 0.3% of elections have failed to receive majority support (107 out of 42,499 total elections).… Read the rest

New York City pension funds proxy access campaign success

US investors passed the first shareholder resolution in a decade at ExxonMobil when they voted to back the proxy access resolution at its recent AGM. The non-binding resolution called for the oil company to give investors that have jointly held at least 3% of its common stock for at least three years the ability to nominate directors using the corporate ballot.… Read the rest

Criticisms of BHS governance continues as administrators fail to find buyers

As inquiries continue into the retailer BHS – focusing on its sale last year and its large pension fund deficit – its administrators, Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, managing directors at Duff & Phelps, announced that it had been unable to find a buyer for the business and it would be wound down and its 163 stores would close.… Read the rest

Single Figure Calculations prove tricky for Legal & General

The insurer and institutional investor Legal & General plc (L&G), had to correct its annual report pay figures for chief executive, Nigel Wilson, on the eve of its AGM last week (26th May).

L&G, whose investment division LGIM is active in corporate governance issues, admitted that awards from Wilson’s 2012 performance share plan had not been included because originally they had looked at the 2016 exercise date rather than when they vested in 2015.… Read the rest