Culture is important for getting corporate governance right

Achieving good corporate governance and behaviour must go beyond codes and towards developing the right culture across organisations and the leaders of companies must be integrated into that culture, according to Sir Wim Bischoff chairman of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) speaking recently at the Financial Times Banking Standards Conference (8th March).… Read the rest

Facebook to pay more tax in the UK while FTSE 100 tax take drops

It has been widely reported that social media giant Facebook is changing its tax structure in Europe which will result in it paying higher levels of tax in the UK. The profits from the majority of Facebook’s advertising revenue initiated in Britain will now be taxed in the UK rather than being routed through Ireland, which has a lower rate of corporation tax.… Read the rest

Academics argue for a stop to paying top executives for performance

Top executive pay should not be linked to performance as the work they do is difficult to measure and such pay may actually be damaging to companies, according to a recent article by two academics in the Harvard Business Review.

It is not unusual for 60-80% of the pay of chief executives and other senior leaders, to be tied to performance – whether performance is measured by quarterly earnings, stock prices, or something else, according to Dan Cable and Freek Vermeulen both professors at London Business School.… Read the rest

Australia moves to kill off show of hands for AGM voting

Shareholders in Australian companies are now more likely to have their votes taken on a poll by default instead of the traditional show of hands. Two-thirds of companies targeted by a global collaborative investor initiative have moved towards using polls, according to the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).… Read the rest

Corporate Governance Scorecard for India

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank, and BSE (formerly the Bombay Stock Exchange) are working together to develop a corporate governance scorecard which  will help Indian companies assess their corporate governance performances against national or international-benchmarked practices.… Read the rest

International Women’s Day: Pledge for Parity

The theme of International Women’s Day this week (8th March) was a Pledge for Parity, trying to achieve equal opportunities for women globally.

The World Economics Forum said it will be 117 years before women have the same career prospects as men.… Read the rest

Rising numbers of female executives and board members across Europe

Although the pace of change is slow female representation on European boards and executive committees at 220 organisations across 11 sectors is growing, according to the latest research from think-tank New Financial.

The percentage of women on boards has increased three percentage points to 23% compared to a year ago, and female representation on executive committees has risen by one percentage point to 16% across the industry. … Read the rest

Chemring Group could still face dissent over executive pay

Chemring Group, a specialist designer and manufacturer for the aerospace, defence and security industries, that was forced to engage with shareholders last year following a high level of dissent at its AGM over its remuneration practices may still not have done enough to meet investor concerns.

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Ferrovial faces backlash over proposed takeover of Australian firm Broadspectrum

Australian human rights campaigners are warning investors of the risks Spanish multinational infrastructure operator, Ferrovial, could face if its takeover bid of Australian firm Broadspectrum is approved. This company  is the Australian government’s lead contractor in the operation of its controversial offshore detention centres (ODCs) in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.… Read the rest

CEO succession planning disclosure needs improvement in the US

US companies who have successfully replaced their chief executives (CEOs) were far more likely to have provided shareholders with more disclosure about their CEO succession plans, according to a study by the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi). However, these are a minority of companies as the report also found that nearly a quarter of companies that changed CEOs in 2012 did not disclose anything about succession planning in the three years prior to the change.… Read the rest

Easygroup’s Stelios steps in to call Fastjet EGM

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has used Easygroup’s, 12.6% stake in African no-frills airline, Fastjet, to call an extraordinary meeting (EGM) which seeks to remove its chief executive, Ed Winter, and its general counsel and company secretary, Krista Bates.

The EGM resolutions seek Winter’s removal as a director as well as chief executive and for Bates to be removed as a board director.… Read the rest

Institutional investors accused of not doing enough to curb excessive US CEO pay

Leading mutual funds and pension funds so far have taken little action to curb the pay of chief executives (CEOs) in the US according to a report by As You Sow, a non-profit organisation that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy.… Read the rest