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

US institutional investors urged to divest from gun companies

New York City Mayor, Don Blasio, has urged all government pension funds in New York and across the US to divest from funds that include assault weapon manufacturers. In his call he is joining a growing campaign which is urging institutional investors to divest from, and for individual Americans to stop their pension funds investing in, the publicly listed gun manufacturers.… Read the rest

EU takes action on cyber-security

The European Union (EU) has reached an agreement on new legislation which will improve cyber-security across all member states. The European Commission proposed the directive in 2013 and an agreement on its content was reached by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament on 7th December.… Read the rest

PRI marks 10th anniversary with review of its progress

The PRI – Principles for Responsible Investment – project is calling on stakeholders and investors to take part in a series of initiatives it will be carrying out through out 2016 to mark its 10th anniversary. These will be reviewing its progress in getting responsible investing more accepted by mainstream investors worldwide and asking for comments to shape the future direction of the responsible investment industry and the organisation.… Read the rest

Financial Reporting Council consults on Board Succession and Audit Firm Code

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued two consultations as part of its ramped up efforts to implement the EU Audit Regulation and Directive regime and strengthen investor confidence in governance.

Board Succession Planning

Following its October discussion paper UK Board Succession Planning -the FRC is now seeking input and feedback on how to achieve diverse and successful boards in the UK.… Read the rest

Ex-CEO of US mining firm found guilty of conspiring to violate federal health and safety laws

In a rare case of a CEO being personally held to account for corporate wrongdoing the former boss of US coal mining company, Massey Energy, Don Blankenship has been convicted of conspiring to violate US mining  health and safety standards. These safety violations led to an explosion at one of its mines, Upper Big Branch in West Virginia, which killed 29 miners.… Read the rest

Cyber-security: a risk for companies and investors

New research from Manifest shows cyber governance risk gaps

Despite recent high profile cyber-security breaches, new research by Manifest has found that 36% of the UK’s premium listed companies do not recognise cyber-security amongst their key risks to be  disclosed to investors.… Read the rest

Vote Suspension rules of Transparency Directive amendments come into force

The amended Transparency Directive (TD), which entered into force on 26 November 2015 across the EU brings major new powers to the FCA. One of the key changes is that the FCA can apply to court for a voting rights suspension order against a “vote holder” of shares in a company which are admitted to trading on a regulated market where that vote holder has breached the significant shareholder notification regime.… Read the rest

UN Climate Change Summit gets underway in Paris

Al Gore, Founder of the Climate Reality Project, provided the key note speech at a meeting of institutional investors held as part of the official series of events within the UN’s Climate Change Summit (COP 21) in Paris.

The event – Investing for the long term: addressing carbon asset risk – provided think tank Carbon Tracker an opportunity to present its research Manifest reported on last week questioning whether energy companies were adapting fast enough to demands to reduce carbon emissions.… Read the rest

ICGN welcomes ongoing review of Japanese Corporate Governance

The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) has welcomed the ongoing work on the Japanese Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. A panel of experts was established in September to encourage the adoption of the codes as well as further improving corporate governance of all listed companies in Japan.… Read the rest