Support for Environmental & Social Issues Votes Surges in US

New research from Manifest’s US partner ProxyGovernance Inc reveals just how rapidly support is growing for E&S votes at US companies. For the first time, E&S resolutions have represented the largest portion of shareholder proposals. Although the number of resolutions has remained below 200, those resolutions with more than 30% support have seen an 8 fold increase from 4% in 2005 to 32% in 2010.… Read the rest

The Reg FD Shareholder Dialogue Myth – Busted

As Prudential has recently found to its cost, it’s generally worth while keeping shareholders in the loop. Whereas UK and European companies are generally welcoming of investor dialogue to the extent it is enshrined in national governance codes, any meaningful dialogue with US-listed companies has been fraught with difficulties.… Read the rest

US pension funds fight to keep proxy reforms on the table

CalPERS and 20 other public pension plans have written to key US lawmakers urging them to keep corporate governance provisions in the final version of a proposed financial regulations reform bill.

The US House of Representatives and Senate have each passed versions of reform legislation and now must now merge the two bills.… Read the rest

SEC moves forward on proxy reform

The SEC has confirmed that it will be issuing a green paper on proxy reform later this year. Speaking at a Business Roundtable quarterly meeting last week, SEC Chairman, Mary Schapiro said: “the mechanics of the proxy process have not kept pace with current market conditions or trading practices.Read the rest

UK’s IIC outlines thinking on stewardship

The Institutional Investor Council (IIC), the successor body to the Institutional Shareholders’ Committee (ISC), has started to lay out its stall on possible work programmes.  Speaking at the IMA’s annual dinner in the City of London this week, Douglas Ferrans, IMA chairman, outlined his vision of how the IIC would tackle the “endlessly complex” conflicts of interest currently challenging the financial services industry.… Read the rest

Shareholders “too powerful” says ICGN award winner

Peter Dey, the architect of Canada’s first corporate governance guidelines for boards, is convinced that the power of directors has been eroded on that  balance of power has shifted too far to shareholders on key issues.

Dey’s remarks were made in a speech at the ICGN annual conference this week after he received the Lifetime Achiever Award in recognition for his role in developing governance guidelines for companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1994.… Read the rest

Remuneration reports are “unduly complex” say Australian directors

Remuneration reports  are “unduly complex, place a significant burden on companies and are of limited use to shareholders and other readers. At worst, they have become almost incomprehensible to even expert readers and can give a distorted picture of executive remuneration.” So says the Australian Institute of Company Directors (ACID).… Read the rest

Commission consults on Corporate Governance green paper

The European Commission has this week launched a consultation, in the form of a green paper, in preparation for taking measures to enhance corporate governance in financial institutions and remuneration policies.

It is significant that the Commission is keen to avoid killing the spirit of what it is trying to achieve by smothering it with compliance, putting emphasis on supervision rather than regulation.… Read the rest

FSA acts on asset segregation – hope yet for investors?

Yesterday’s news that JP Morgan has been hit with the largest fine ever handed down by the FSA might not appear to have any direct connection to shareholder stewardship, after all it wasn’t their securities servicing division found to be at fault.… Read the rest

Total Remuneration Survey 2010 Now Available

Manifest’s annual total remuneration survey, published in association with MM&K is now available. For more information about this essential resource for issuers and investors alike please Click Here >>

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New governance standards for UK companies split investors

New governance standards for UK-listed companies looks set to split investors over the FRC’s proposals that the 350 largest companies should propose all their directors for annual election.

The UK Corporate Governance Code, formerly known as the Combined Code, sets out standards of governance for listed companies.… Read the rest

US Vote Trends for the 2010 Season

Changes to SEC disclosure rules effective Feb. 28, 2010 require US listed companies to disclose the results of their meetings within four business days. This means that we are able to provide an overview of the season in a more-timely manner. … Read the rest