Executive Pay watch emphasises US pay gap between CEOs and other employees

The US federation of trade unions, the AFL-CIO, has released its latest Executive Paywatch data which it says shows the average CEO of an S&P 500 company received an annual income of $12.4 million in 2015—335 times more money than the average rank-and-file worker. … Read the rest

US audit firms to disclose the partners who carry out audits

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has  announced that its rules to improve the transparency of the audit by disclosing the names of audit engagement partners, as well as information about other firms that participate in the audits, were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.… Read the rest

Nomination committees no longer the poor relation?

Nomination committees have been the poor relation of board committees, according to advisory firm, Ernst & Young (EY). However this appears to be changing as companies adapt to demands for a more professional approach to director recruitment and to scrutiny about board diversity and effectiveness.… Read the rest

Two thirds of large UK businesses have suffered a cyber attack in the past year

Two thirds (65%) of large UK companies have admitted to having suffered a cyber breach in the past year, according to a survey conducted for the government.

The study also found that 69% of companies said that senior managers were aware of the problem but only just over half (51%) had taken the recommended actions to avoid cyber attacks. … Read the rest

Call on Vanguard to join others in responding to a low carbon economy future

Responsible investment advocacy group, ShareAction has called on US asset manager, Vanguard, to demonstrate its commitment to company engagement on climate issues by voting in favour of shareholder resolutions on climate risk at ExxonMobil and Chevron, in an open letter to its chief executive Bill McNabb.… Read the rest

Governments pledge to fight corruption as pressure grows for more action

An international anti-corruption summit in London this week has led to an international communiqué in which countries have signed up to taking action to address corruption and reduce financial secrecy which hurts developing countries and their people. Participants also produced their own statements of the actions they were taking in their countries.… Read the rest

Dissent on pay continues at UK AGMs

Investors showed their concerns over executive pay at more AGMs this week. The largest rebellion was at bookmaker Ladbrokes which faced a 42% vote against its remuneration report – this was just above the 40% vote against received last year.

Ladbrokes has agreed to merge with another betting company, Coral, and stated in its annual report that it would undertake a review of the remuneration policy of the combined company once the deal is completed.… Read the rest

Peace campaigners protest at BAE Systems AGM

Campaigners from the pressure group, Campaign against the Arms Trade (CAAT), which is calling for the UK to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, took their fight to the BAE Systems AGM last Wednesday. CAAT had bought shares in the company allowing campaigners to attend the AGM.… Read the rest

Dutch update corporate governance code

The Dutch corporate governance code monitoring committee is currently revising its country’s corporate governance code – first released in 2003 – following a consultation on the proposed changes which ended last month. The committee is expected to publish the finalised version in the autumn.… Read the rest

Index launched for investors seeking to divest from fossil fuels

The London Stock Exchange-owned FTSE Russell has launched the FTSE Divest-Invest index which will reduce investors exposure to fossil fuel companies while also increasing exposure within the index to companies engaged in the transition to a green economy.

FTSE Russell said it was able to achieve this using data captured from its new green revenue data model, called LCE, which will be publicly launched soon.… Read the rest

Rio Tinto avoids large pay vote rebellion

Mining group, Rio Tinto, which is dual-listed in the UK and Australia, avoided a large scale rebellion over its remuneration report although there was a higher level of dissension than in previous years. The voting results were announced following the Australian AGM – Rio Tinto plc held its AGM last month.… Read the rest

UK’s Pre-emption Group releases monitoring report on updated principles

The Financial Reporting Council’s pre-emption group (PEG) has released a report showing the progress of implementation of the Statement of Principles (principles), which were updated in 2015 to reflect market changes. The PEG found that the revised principles were largely adhered to while the FRC said the report’s findings showed the importance of open dialogue and engagement between investors and the companies to which they have allocated their capital.… Read the rest