OECD: Guidance for institutional investors launched

OECD Corporate Governance Principles

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published its paper, Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors, which explains how they can apply the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

The paper was launched online by the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) which is leading a project to support investors to adhere to the OECD guidelines.… Read the rest

New stewardship guidance for DB schemes

The Pensions Regulator DB guidance

The UK’s Pensions Regulator, TPR, has issued new investment guidance for defined benefit pension schemes including  expanded duties on stewardship, sustainability, ESG and voting issues.

The guidance follows the common principles set out in TPR’s DC investment guidance together with some specific considerations relevant to defined benefit schemes.… Read the rest

Chilling, excessive rules for shareholder activists and analysts

Texan state legislature disclosure act

Shareholder activists and proxy analysts face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 if they fail to comply with a new regulations being proposed in the USA.

The US state legislature in Texas has proposed a bill, which would, if passed, require activist investors and proxy advisory firms owning or commenting on Texan publicly-listed companies adhere to new disclosure requirements that go far beyond current federal rules.… Read the rest

Shareholders reject Crest Nicholson’s pay report

Crest Nicholson logo

FTSE 250 construction company Crest Nicholson, which emphasises its sustainable approach to housing developments, had its remuneration report rejected by shareholders at its AGM this week. There was a 58% vote against the non-binding annual remuneration implementation report. In a separate binding vote on the company’s remuneration policy there was a 96% vote in favour.… Read the rest

Deutsche Börse announces sustainable finance initiative

Deutsche Borse ESG

The German stock exchange, Deutsche Börse, is to launch a sustainable finance initiative in May with the aim of establishing new interdisciplinary structures for sustainable entrepreneurship along with some 100 of the financial centre’s key participants in order to explore new business areas.… Read the rest

World’s most ethical companies revealed

worlds ethical companies

The world’s most ethical companies in 2017 have been reveal by Ethisphere. The thinktank, which aims to measure and standardise ethical business practice, has identified the 124 companies spanning five continents, 19 countries and 52 industry sectors.

Since 2007 Ethisphere has been honouring the companies which  recognise their role in society to influence and drive positive change in the business community and societies around the world.… Read the rest

Do investors need more ESG experts?

France vigilance law

Yes, says UK-based environmental think tank, E3G, which also believes global investors to rapidly increase their environmental, social and governance (ESG) capacity and to train all staff to be aware of ESG issues. According to E3G’s research, a third of the investor signatories to the Principles for Responsible for Investment (PRI) do not employ any ESG specialists and that a further 20% employ only one such expert.… Read the rest

Demand for CEO pay ratios intensifies

CEO pay ratio disclosure rule

Demand for CEO pay ratios has increased with initiatives in the US and UK focusing on the discrepancies between director and employee pay and the need for more regulation.

US Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and eight other senators have written to Michael Piwowar, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to urge him to implement the CEO pay ratio rule which would require companies to disclose the ratio between chief executive (CEO) pay and the pay of their median worker.… Read the rest

Caterpillar: Federal investigations prompt investor concerns

Caterpillar AGM tax scheme

Investors in machinery, vehicle and engine manufacturer Caterpillar have called on its board to establish a special committee to investigate any risks related to tax schemes set up by the company which are now subject to investigations by US federal authorities.… Read the rest

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark launched

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark launched

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark for 2017 has been revealed the performance results of the world’s leading companies in its publication this week.

The benchmark assesses 98 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world on 100 human rights indicators.… Read the rest

US investors secure climate risk commitment from BlackRock

US responsible investment investors have secured a greater commitment from asset management giant BlackRock that it will be engaging with its investee companies on climate risk. The group hopes that this could also mean BlackRock supports some climate change shareholder resolutions during the 2017 proxy voting season.… Read the rest

EU Shareholder Rights Directive II moves closer to adoption

EU Shareholder Rights Directi e

The revised EU’s Shareholder Rights Directive was approved by the European Parliament (EP) earlier this week and will be formally adopted by the European Council, made up of the member states, shortly. Once adopted member states have two years to put the directive into effect in their own countries.… Read the rest