Accountants v Bankers

The International Accounting Standards Board has defended its work on harmonising U.S. and international accounting rules into one single standard. In a letter addressed to G20 host, US President, Barack Obama, it outlines that the board has made “substantial progress” on meeting the objectives set out by the G20 at its Washington summit last Autumn.… Read the rest

Canada moves towards pension fund ESG disclosure

A private Member’s Bill was submitted to the Canadian Parliament this week by Robert Oliphant, MP, calling for amendments to the Pensions Benefits Standards Act, 1985, requiring public and private pension plans to disclose considerations given to environmental, social or governance factors during the selection, retention, or liquidation of investments under the plan’s responsibility.… Read the rest

US accounting regulator taps investors for perspectives

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. the US accounting standard setter, has announced the 19 members of the inaugural Investor Advisory Group. The group will provide a forum for the board to obtain the views of, and advice from, the broader investor community.… Read the rest

Governance in Eastern Europe

By: Geoffrey Mazullo, Director, Partners for Financial Stability Program

In August 2001 the PFS Program launched its first regional survey, “Investor Relations Online:  Survey of Websites of the Ten Largest Listed Companies (by market capitalization) in Eight Central and Eastern European [CEE] Countries” in response to requests from stock exchanges in several CEE countries to organize training programs on extra-financial disclosure, financial disclosure and investor relations. … Read the rest

Public recognition for Manifest’s contribution

Financial News, the weekly journal from the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal stable has published its 2009 survey of Top 100 Women in Financial Markets. This is the survey’s third year of publication and Manifest’s CEO, Sarah Wilson has joined the list for the first time.… Read the rest

Swiss Exchange investigates UBS

The regulatory function of the Swiss stock exchange has begun an investigation into UBS for possible breaches of the rules regarding the publication of price sensitive information. The investigation relates to the period from 2007 to the end of 2008. Further, the investigation will review the company’s 2008 annual report for possible breaches of the Corporate Governance Directive.… Read the rest

Boardroom warfare at Fairfax Media ahead of AGM

With the AGM of Fairfax Media due to be held on 10 November, Fairfax directors John B Fairfax and his son Nicholas have  released a public statement indicating that the will vote against the re-election of the Chairman, Ron Walker, at the AGM.… Read the rest

German companies to offer say-on-pay

The German Bundestag has adopted the Gesetz zur Angemessenheit der Vorstandsvergütung (Act on the Appropriateness of Management Board Remuneration or VorstAG). The objectives of the new Act are to ensure a greater focus on incentives concerning the company’s long-term development, to make it easier to cut pay when a company’s situation deteriorates while creating clear rules on the determination of management board remuneration.… Read the rest

SEC appoints investor subcommittee chair

Following on from the creation of the SEC’s Investment Advisory Committee, we now have details of its three working sub-committes which will focus on investor education, investor protection, shareholder voting and corporate governance.

The SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee is co-chaired by Richard Hisey from AARP Financial and Hye-Won Choi from TIAA-CREF, in consultation with SEC Commissioner Luis A.… Read the rest

The Judge, The Shareholders & Cynical Regulators

Almost one year to the day since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, US federal Judge Jed Rakoff stepped up to protect the interests of shareholders in the on-going battle between owners and regulators. In a scathing judgement, Rakoff has rejected the $33 million settlement between Bank of America and the SEC which aimed to settle allegations that by failing to disclose bonuses owed to Merrill employees, BofA had “materially lied” in shareholder communications prior to its takeover of Merrill Lynch.… Read the rest

Manifest in the press – September

September has been a busy month so far with a number of newspapers and websites picking up our analysis of voting trends around Europe.

BBC >>

City AM >>

Directorship >>

De Tijd >>

Evening Standard >>

Financial News >>

Guardian Survey of Executive Pay >>

Guardian Editorial >>

Wall Street Journal >>

Please note that some websites are subscription only and we are not allowed to reproduce the content.… Read the rest

Salary freezes hidden by nature of statutory disclosures

The Guardian’s annual survey of executive pay has been published, and reveals a 10% increase in basic salary for executives at FTSE 100 companies. Today’s  Guardian editorial cites voting data from Manifest noting that dissenting votes on remuneration reports in the year to 31 July was circa 12% while dissent on long-term incentive plans was below 8%.… Read the rest