Investor groups wade into fight over trade association positions on climate change

In the wake of several prominent companies – including Apple Inc. Exelon Corp., Duke Energy, PG&E and PNM Resources – dropping their memberships in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or the National Association of Manufacturers over differences with these trade associations’ positions on climate change legislation, a group of 43 social investment organizations and funds has waded into the controversy by sending a letter to 14 additional companies calling on them to take actions as well.… Read the rest

Australian shareholders rebel over pay

The first big week of Australian proxy season has seen a number of revolts on executive pay, with one ASX 100 company losing the remuneration report vote and two others seeing very significant dissent.

At Downer Edi, the remuneration report was defeated, with investors reacting to reduced performance hurdles for the long-term incentive plan and large payments under the annual bonus.… Read the rest

Pay czar Feinberg slashes bailout bonus

US pay czar Kenneth Feinberg has waded into the bankers’ bonus debate with a range of sweeping cuts and demands for corporate governance reforms.

On the pay front the proposals are to cut the packages of the top 25 executives at the seven bailed out  firms: Bank of America, Citigroup, AIG, General Motors, GMAC, Chrysler Group and Chrysler Finance.… Read the rest

Press Update: The Times October 20th 2009

Linking bonuses to the granting of shares or options seems a good idea . . .
… but it is not as simple as that and Britain’s businesses can see the pitfalls that many others cannot.

Jamie Stevenson of University of Exeter Business School writes in the Times and discusses the problems of executive incentives.… Read the rest

The unintended consequences of “Best Practice”

The Walker Review has ignited something of a bonfire under the UK’s current “Guidelines” based approach to corporate governance monitoring and enforcement. Leaving the politics of the debate aside for a moment, there is a genuine practical consideration for adopting a more formal approach to “Best Practice Guidelines” – ongoing suitability.… Read the rest

UAE to replace guidelines with laws

The UAE is paving the way for a tougher regulatory regime according to Emirates regulatory affiars officer Maryam al Suwaidi. Speaking at the First Abu Dhabi Corporate Governance Conference on Wednesday, al Suwaidi said that the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) has been involved in drafting the law, which would be in line with international best international practice.… Read the rest

PROXYGovernance Chairman joins 100 “Most Influential” in the Boardroom

James Melican, chairman of Manifest’s US partner, PROXYGovernance has joined Directorship magazine’s 100 most influential people in US boardrooms. ‘Directorship’ is a leading US website and business magazine for board directors and corporate governance professionals. Its annual D100 list of the “most influential” persons in the boardroom was released on Oct.… Read the rest

NASDAQ looks at ‘Comply or Explain’

Nasdaq’s Listing and Hearing Review Council is taking soundings on whether the US exchange should adopt corporate governance best practices for its listed companies, and, if so, what they should be.

The Nasdaq Listing and Hearing Review Council is appointed by the Nasdaq board Stock Market to provide advice on public policy issues related to listed companies and includes leading investor advocates Ann Yerger of the Council of Institutional Investors and Peter Clapman of TIAA-CREF (retired).… Read the rest

Total Remuneration Survey 2009 – September update

The September edition of the Manifest/MM&K Total Remuneration Survey was released this week and includes updates from companies with March and June year-ends.

The survey is unique in taking into account the changing mix of compensation from salary and bonus to a total mix of pay where 80% is performance-related.… Read the rest

Animal rights & shareholder rights

The inclusion of the Green Party in the Irish coalition government has seen some interesting new features included in the new “Programme for Government” which was agreed this week after a series of last minute negotiations.

In addition to new protections for mink through the abolition of fur farming and the development of Irish pub food trails, Irish shareholders can expect to see their own protections strengthened.… Read the rest

Myners calls for stewardship reforms

Lord Myners, the UK Treasury’s Minister for the City has again called for a radical  new approach to financial reform – this time it’s investors under the spotlight. In recent months Myners has been no stranger to controversial proposals and during a speech to a conference hosted by UBS, he outlined his concerns about the way corporate governance and stewardship is implemented by investors.… Read the rest

Institutional investors should start own credit rating agencies

Speaking at the Council of Institutional Investors Autumn conference in Los Angeles last week, Jules Kroll, chairman and co-founder of K2 Global Partners, told attendees that investors could improve the integrity of ratings by taking ownership of the process.

Investors should not rely solely on regulators to reform rating agencies, three of which generate 95 percent of all credit ratings issued, Kroll said.… Read the rest