Sports Direct chairman hits out at “extreme campaign”

Sports Direct Logo

Keith Hellawell, Sports Direct chairman, has hit out at the company’s critics in its half year results and stated that: “I have no doubt that the extreme political, union and media campaign waged against this company has not only damaged its reputation and influenced our customers, it has impacted negatively on the morale of our people.”

Hellawell failed to achieve support for his re-election from the majority of Sports Direct’s independent shareholder at the AGM in September and will again seek re-election at a general meeting on 5th January.… Read the rest

Law changes needed for better governance says FRC

Stephen Haddrill

The Financial Reporting Council has recommended a series of changes that are needed to improve the UK’s governance regime. In a letter to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee the FRC has said that Section 172 of the Companies Act should be made more effective to ensure that directors take account of the views of a wider range of stakeholders.  … Read the rest

EU: Shareholder Rights Directive Mk II

Flag of European Union

The EU’s council of permanent representatives has endorsed an agreement between the Slovakia, which holds the presidency of the European Council,  and the European Parliament that agrees revisions to the second Shareholder Rights Directive.

EU institutions agree on need for more shareholder engagement

Lucia Žitňanská, Minister for Justice of Slovakia said: “The financial crisis revealed that in many cases shareholders supported excessive short-term risk-taking by managers.Read the rest

BlackRock set to vote against RemCo Chairs

Charlotte Villiers

Investment giant, BlackRock, has indicated it will be toughening its stance on executive pay after giving evidence to the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee. In future it will now hold remuneration committee chairmen to account for the decisions they have made; a move which Manifest recommended to the Committee at the previous session.… Read the rest

Revised Dutch Corporate Governance Code published

Dutch revised corporate governance code published

The Dutch corporate governance code monitoring committee has published a revised corporate governance code for the Netherlands replacing its previous 2008 code. The revisions follow earlier consultation and were at the request of Dutch company bodies, trade unions and shareholder organisations.… Read the rest

UK Pension Funds: “Executive Pay is too High”

PLSA Logo

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), the membership body for UK’s pension funds, has published its AGM Season Report 2016, focusing on executive pay using data provided by Manifest. A survey of PLSA members for the report found that 87% of respondents believe executive pay is too high.… Read the rest

UK’s corporate governance green paper widely welcomed

The UK government’s widely trailed corporate governance green paper has focused, as expected, on executive pay and stakeholder representation at companies as well consulting on corporate governance rules for large privately owned companies. Manifest welcomed the consultation particularly the Government’s questions in relation to proxy advisors and other shareholder advisors who support investment managers and asset owners in their stewardship activities.… Read the rest

Sports Direct 2016 accounts to be investigated

Sports Direct Logo

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has commenced an investigation into retailer Sports Direct’s accounts following reports earlier this year that there was an arrangement between Sports Direct and Barlin Delivery which was not disclosed as a related party in the company’s 2016 financial statements.… Read the rest

USS members campaign against cluster bomb investments

Members of the UK’s largest occupational pension fund, Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and the National Union of Students (NUS) have demanded an end to investments which breach the UN’s Controversial Weapons Convention, such as cluster munitions and landmines. The petition, signed by over 3,000 scheme members, was coordinated by Ethics for USS with support from ShareAction and the NUS.… Read the rest

UK #corpgov #execpay Green Paper widely expected this week

The British press were this weekend widely tipping that the publication of Theresa May’s flagship corporate governance reforms will be published this week. The BBC, GuardianTelegraph, Sunday Times, and Scotsman have all run more or less the same articles over the weekend highlighting the key features of a proposed Bill:
  • A requirement for companies to publish pay ratios showing the difference in pay between the chief executive and average employee;
  • Improving the effectiveness of remuneration committees and the extent to which they must consult shareholders and the wider company on pay;
  • Employee advisory representation on remuneration committees;
  • A binding annual shareholder votes on executive pay packages; and
  • Private company directors will be subject to a new code of conduct on behaviour and transparency.
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IORPII approval gives welcome boost to ESG

EU Shareholder Rights Directi e

The European Parliament has backed the introduction of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision Directive (IORPII). One of the requirements of the new directive is for European occupational pensions to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Responsible investment group ShareAction has welcomed the EP’s support for the directive which was passed last week following an agreement in the summer with the other EU institutions – the European Union and the European Council – on a number of amendments to the Commission’s original 2014 draft.… Read the rest

Australian pension funds are adopting responsible investment finds RIAA

RIAA Benchmark 2016

Most of the largest Australian superannuation (super) pension funds are adopting some form of  responsible investment according to a survey by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA).

The RIAA said its  Superfund Responsible Investment Benchmarking Report  involved a detailed assessment and survey of the largest 50 superfunds in Australia which accounts for around $1.3 trillion of assets under management.… Read the rest