Meldex CEO amazed at collective governance lapses of prior board

The annual report of former AIM-traded company Meldex International plc for the December 2008 year end has been published and includes revealing statements from the new CEO about the serious lapses in corporate governance during the tenure of his predecessor.

In June 2009, Meldex, the Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company whose shares were suspended in December 2008, commenced legal proceedings against its former chief executive Richard Trevillion and chief development officer Stephen Martin seeking substantial damages.… Read the rest

Countries drag their feet over Shareholder Rights Directive transposition

The European Commission has published a table detailing implementation of the Shareholder Rights Directive by the 27 member states (along with other directives). Member states were required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Shareholder Rights Directive by 3 August 2009 at the latest.… Read the rest

Bank of Ireland EGM paves way for say-on-pay vote

The Extraordinary General Court of Bank of Ireland held today (Jan 12) approved important changes to the Bye-Laws of the company, with 99% of shareholders voting in favour. Bank of Ireland was established by Charter and thus is subject to a somewhat different regulatory structure than companies incorporated under the Companies Act.… Read the rest

Eight Swiss companies to offer say-on-pay votes

Ethos have announced that eight of the 20 companies included in the Swiss SMI Index have now agreed to implement a vote on remuneration issues.

In the autumn of 2008, Ethos and eight Swiss pension funds filed a “say-on-pay” resolution requesting an advisory vote on the remuneration reports of five of the largest listed companies in Switzerland.… Read the rest

Second Irish company proposes say-on-pay vote

United Drug has followed the lead of DCC in proposing a vote on its remuneration report as a separate voting item at its upcoming AGM on 9 February. The notice of meeting acknowledges that there is no legal obligation on the company to put such a resolution to shareholders, so this is an ‘advisory’ resolution and is not binding on the company.… Read the rest

PGI Previews the 2010 US Season

Early indications are that the 2010 proxy season will be at least as busy, if not more so, than last year when more than 640 shareholder resolutions were voted on at U.S. companies writes Mike Ryan of Manifest’s US partners, ProxyGovernance.… Read the rest

Wall Street Journal: Shareholder Revolts Over Pay Still Rare

The Wall Street Journal and Financial News have picked up Manifest’s recent article on remuneration report defeats. As highlighted in our posting on the Punch Taverns they joined a select list of five FTSE All Share companies to have seen their remuneration reports defeated.… Read the rest

Former iSoft directors summonsed

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has confirmed that it has commenced criminal proceedings against four former directors of iSoft Group Plc. Patrick Cryne, Stephen Graham, Timothy Whiston and John Whelan have been summonsed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on 29 January 2010 to face charges of conspiracy to make misleading statements contrary to section 397 (1)(a) and (2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.… Read the rest

Swedish buffer funds appoint global voting partner

Four of the Swedish buffer funds (AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4) this week announced the appointment of a provider of global voting services:

“The First to Fourth AP Funds (The Funds) have carried out a procurement of a Global Voting Service.

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SEC links pay and risk, faster voting results

In a 4-1 vote, the Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a series of governance reforms designed to “help investors make more informed voting decisions.” As from 28 February 2010 investors will not only know a great deal more about the directors they are electing, they will also have faster access to voting outcomes with the introduction of a four day results filing requirement.… Read the rest

Australia’s Productivity Commission delivers report on exec pay

Australia’s Productivity Commission will submit its final report on executive remuneration to the Federal Government on 19 December. The Productivity Commission was asked to undertake a public inquiry into the regulatory framework around remuneration of directors and executives of companies regulated under the Corporations Act.… Read the rest

Punch Taverns shareholders reject remuneration report

Some 55.44% of the votes cast on the resolution to approve the remuneration report at the AGM of Punch Taverns voted against the remuneration report, condemning the report to defeat. The company joins a select list of five companies in the FTSE All-Share to have lost this vote in 2009.… Read the rest