Best Practice Principles improve transparency ESMA says

The Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research have improved transparency, so issuers and investors can better understand the work of proxy information providers and advisers, according to the EU’s European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

However, the ESMA believes that the  industry group behind the Principles would benefit from better governance and further clarity over what monitoring it performs.… Read the rest

Top bosses’ pay surpassed the average UK worker’s annual salary after just two days think-tank claims

By the first Tuesday of 2016 (5th January) the UK’s top bosses made more money in 2016 than the average UK worker earns in an entire year, according to think tank, The High Pay Centre.

FTSE 100 chief executives are paid an average £4.96 million a year according to the government’s ‘single figure’ measure compared to the UK full-time average salary of £27,645.… Read the rest

Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association updates Corporate Governance Guidelines

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (the Association), better known as the National Association of Pension Funds of old,  has updated its Corporate Governance Policy and Voting Guidelines. The Corporate Governance Policy and Voting Guidelines aim to  promote the long-term success of the companies in which the Association’s members invest; and, ensure that the board and management of these companies are held accountable to shareholders, such as pension funds.… Read the rest

Public attitudes: Corporate tax avoidance is the top business ethics issue survey finds

Corporate tax avoidance, followed by executive pay are the key business ethics issues identified by the general public in a survey conducted for the Institute of Business Ethics.

The top five issues in respect of company behaviour, that respondents most felt needed addressing were corporate tax avoidance (34%); executive pay (25%); exploitative labour (20%); employees being able to speak out about company wrongdoing (19%) and discrimination (18%).… Read the rest

Gender diversity on FTSE 350 boards is improving according to FT-ICSA survey

The UK’s top companies look set to meet targets to increase the number of women on their boards according to the latest FT–ICSA Boardroom Bellwether survey. This follows the Davies Review which found that within the FTSE 100 a milestone of 25% of board positions being filled by women had been met this year – a target set by Lord Davies in 2011.… Read the rest

Financial Standards Board task force to establish climate-related risk disclosures

Companies are likely to improve their disclosure of climate-related financial risks in the near future  following the creation of the an industry led task force formed by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to develop consistent rules for firms when they provide this information to lenders, insurers, investors and other stakeholders.… Read the rest

Investors pay high price for Australian CEO departures

Nearly $A30 million in payouts to departing chief executives (CEOs) helped to increase the pay of the 300 highest-earning Australian CEOs by 5%, who for the first time will receive an average pay packet of more than $3 million a year, according to The Australian Financial Review Salary Survey 2015.… Read the rest

FRC aims to improve Stewardship Code Reporting

The Financial Reporting Council is seeking to achieve more transparent and consistent reporting on the Stewardship Code by investment managers.

The Code was introduced in 2010 following the recommendations of The Walker Review and sets out a number of areas of good practice to which investors should aspire and operates on a comply or explain basis.… Read the rest

Sports Direct criticised for low pay of warehouse workers

The shares of UK sports clothes and equipment retailer, Sports Direct, took a hit this week, despite reporting increased profits, following an investigation by the Guardian newspaper which it said revealed that workers at its new Shirebrook warehouse are receiving effective hourly rates of pay below the minimum wage.… Read the rest

BTG Pactual chief executive resigns amid corruption allegations

The chairman and chief executive of Brazilian investment bank, BTG Pactual, Andre Santos Esteves, has been forced to resign following his arrest amid accusations of bribery.

According to press reports, Esteves was accused of allegedly conspiring with Delcidio Amaral, head of the government coalition in the Senate, who was also arrested, to hide evidence.… Read the rest

US Council of Institutional Investors highlights good engagement practices

The Council of Institutional Investors (CII), which represents pension funds and other institutional investors in the US, has published two reports highlighting the most effective ways to conduct and disclose engagement between investors and companies.

CII Investor-Company Roundtable: Effective Engagement is the result of a roundtable convened by CII in July 2015 to discuss the most effective engagement practices for companies and investors.… Read the rest

Companies commit to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions

As the countries taking part in the UN Climate Change Summit, COP 21 in Paris, struggled to reach agreement  114 major companies including Coca-Cola, Dell, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble and Sony pledged to set emissions reduction targets in line with what scientists say is necessary to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius using criteria approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.… Read the rest