OECD updates governance assessment methodology

OECD Corporate Governance Principles

The OECD has published its revised Methodology for Assessing the Implementation of the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance. The latest version incorporates changes that were made to the Principles during the 2015 review as well as a number of additional clarifications.… Read the rest

Comment: Proxy adviser mafia shakedown? Put up or shut up.

Competition and Markets Authority Logo

In a recent edition of The Times, Financial Editor Patrick Hosking wrote an item entitled “Adviser is accused of mafia‑style shakedown” in which the business community raised concerns about the potential conflicts of interest in the governance services industry. It explained how ISS, the largest proxy voting adviser had developed a service which helps companies draft governance and voting disclosures in a way which improves the chances they will get the nod from shareholders.… Read the rest

Snap go the votes!

Snap IPO shares no voting power

News of Snap Inc’s pending IPO arrived too late for our usual weekly round-up, but no matter, now that the full implications of the disappearing photo-apps disappearing votes have started to sink in, we can take a moment to reflect on what this really means for investors and good governance.… Read the rest

Say on Pay: what have the Victorians ever done for us?

Queen Victoria

In the run up to the introduction of the UK’s remuneration regulations in 2012, the headlines and much of the political commentary suggested that shareholders were in need of extra powers to control executive pay. What the Thomas Cook vote has shown clearly, however, is that – in the UK at least – there is more than one way to make a point.… Read the rest

Better governance: are board expectations realistic?

A significant proportion of corporate governance practitioners are unsure whether the UK’s system of corporate governance is fit for purpose. According to a poll published last week [01-Feb-17] by the UK’s corporate secretary professional body, ICSA,  and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership, 45% of respondents are on the fence, or just ‘maybe’ when asked if the current system is working.… Read the rest

Manifest Statement on UK Government’s #Corpgov Green Paper

Manifest welcomes the Dept BEIS Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper which has been published today. Stakeholders are now faced with a very detailed and potentially far-reaching consultation which touches on a wide variety of topical issues. See Video https://goo.gl/Eb27h9

Manifest particularly welcomes 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

Vote for #corpgov research – countdown to the SRII survey

The indefatigable Mike Tyrell of SRI-Connect has reminded us all that the final countdown to the Extel awards for ESG research – the SRII Survey – is upon us.

The IRRI* Survey is the biggest mass participation exercise in SRI & corporate governance. … Read the rest

Select Committee hears from Aberdeen, ICGN, Manifest & ShareSoc

A panel of shareholder representatives comprising Paul Lee of Aberdeen Asset Management, Kerrie Waring of ICGN, Sarah Wilson of Manifest and Cliff Weight of ShareSoc last week [23 November 2016] gave evidence to the BEIS Select Committee investigating corporate governance and directors duties in the UK.… Read the rest

Better governance – not tin ears

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Set against a backdrop of stagnant economic growth and societal discontent with the political status quo, global investors and corporations face ever growing risks and challenges. Having initially stabilised the sinking ship in the immediate aftermath of the GFC, governments, regulators and institutions around the world are now turning their attention to the role of business and its role in supporting strong, healthy societies.… Read the rest

Governance Fact Check: Chairman Independence

The UK Governance Code 2016 & Chairmen

fact-check-logoIn its 2016 AGM results announcement, Sky plc suggested that shareholders voted against James Murdoch because of proxy analysts rather than facts surrounding Murdoch’s appointment.

As a UK incorporated Plc, Sky’s governance arrangements fall under the remit of the UK Governance Code which is maintained by the Financial Reporting Council, the UK’s independent regulator for corporate reporting and governance.… Read the rest

Speaking out against #corpgov censorship

As the US Presidential battle careers towards its conclusion, the day to day business of law creation proceeds in Washington DC. Of particular interest to investors, indeed anyone with an interest in good governance, is HR5311 the ‘‘Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act of 2016.’’

The brainchild of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, former SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher (now working for a Washington lobby firm Patomak Global), Congressman Jeb Hensarling and Representative Sean DuffyH.R.… Read the rest

Conflicts of interest, human capital and investor confidence concerns dog Sports Direct

In a surprise change of PR last Friday, (26 August 2016) Sports Direct announced that it would hold a public open day to coincide with its AGM on 7th September  at its premises in Shirebrook. The event is said to “enable the board to engage with as many people as possible in an open discussion about the business.” In an unprecedented move the AGM is also being opened up to non-shareholders – previous AGMs have previously been tightly restricted to shareholders only with all press excluded.Read the rest