Investors seek improved proxy access at Apple

Activist investors in the US were watching the outcome of  shareholder resolutions at the annual general meeting (AGM) of technology giant, Apple, on Friday (26th February). One of the proposals was seeking greater powers for investors to be able to nominate their own directors and this to be voted on by shareholders at their AGMs, so-called proxy access.… Read the rest

UN bodies work to integrate sustainability into investors’ fiduciary duties

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and The Generation Foundation, the advocacy initiative of Generation Investment Management, have launched a three year project which aims to persuade investors to take full account of material sustainability factors in their investment practices and to see this as their clear fiduciary duty.… Read the rest

UK consults on EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive

The UK government is consulting on how to incorporate the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive into UK law and into the UK’s current company reporting framework. This amends an earlier directive and requires companies, with more than 500 employees, to disclose specific non-financial information as part of the company reporting. … Read the rest

Investors demand more from their fund managers

Institutional investors are demanding high ethical standards from their investment managers and all investors are looking better transparency about fees they charge according to, From Trust to Loyalty: A Global Survey of What Investors Want, produced for the CFA Institute.Read the rest

John Kay – Other People’s Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People

There needs to be a structural shift in the finance industry, making it more limited in scale and more effectively directed to real economic needs, according to economist John Kay, in his latest book Other People’s Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People.… Read the rest

Druckman to step down as chief executive of the IIRC

Paul Druckman, chief executive of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), will step down this year, although the exact date for his departure will be dependent on the appointment of his successor.

The IIRC said that Druckman would continue to lead on its programme for 2016, including its work as a member of the B20 SME Development Task Force and leading representations to the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures.… Read the rest

IBE provides advice on executive pay for remuneration committee

Providing a simple and fair approach for remuneration committees trying to meet the challenge of getting executive pay right is the aim of a board briefing paper recently published by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE).

The IBE said the paper, Fair or Unfair?Read the rest

GSK fined for anti-competitive behaviour

Pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has been fined £37.6m by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)for making illegal payments to companies to delay their rival medicines entering the British market. Smaller fines were also imposed on the other pharmaceutical companies it paid.… Read the rest

Morgan Stanley pays for misleading investors

Investment bank Morgan Stanley has agreed a $3.2 billion settlement with the New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman over the bank’s deceptive practices, in respect of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS ), leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The investigation found  that during 2006 the bank deceived investors about the quality of the mortgage loans it securitised and sold to investors, and its process for screening out questionable loans.… Read the rest

UK parliamentary scrutiny of Google tax deal

Global technology Google continues to be in the spotlight  over its £130m tax deal with the UK authorities. The UK parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, which first looked into the issue of corporate tax deals in 2012, has held a session questioning both Matt Brittin, president of Google Europe, Middle East and Africa and Tom Hutchinson, VP Finance, Google as well as representatives from the HMRC.… Read the rest

UK government addresses the gender pay gap

Ensuring women get promoted to senior positions and receive higher bonuses should form part of the strategy to ensure that the gap between the pay of women and men is closed,  according to a report produced by Deloitte and sponsored by “Think, Act, Report“, a UK government campaign.… Read the rest

SEC fines Monsanto $80million for accounting violations

The US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has fined  global agri-business firm Monsanto $80 million for violating accounting rules and misstating company earnings in relation to its flagship product Roundup.  The company has also agreed to retain an independent compliance consultant in its settlement with the SEC.… Read the rest