Phoenix Four face ban as directors

In a tale of financial engineering and dubious corporate governance standards, the consortium of businessmen behind the collapsed British car company, MG Rover, face being banned as company directors following the publication of a Government report investigating their role in the company’s demise.… Read the rest

AWB bribery class action calls for Australian government papers

In a pre-trial debate, AWB has stated that it does not consider “transport fees” paid to a Jordanian transport company, which had close connections to the Iraqi government, to be a bribe. The Age has reported that the pre-trial debate focused on whether the Office of National Assessments was entitled to avoid producing documents to the court on national security grounds.… Read the rest

Takeover Panel aims to clarify “concert party” concerns

The FSA’s letter to the Institutional Shareholders Committee regarding shareholder engagement was initially welcomed by many commentators although concerns were raised in some quarters at the narrow focus of the letter.

In that letter, the FSA stated that they were “aware that concerns have been raised over the extent to which more active shareholder engagement would be consistent with certain elements of our existing regulatory regime for market abuse, disclosure of substantial shareholdings and changes in control”.… Read the rest

Think tank grapples with short-termism

Leading US investors and business leaders have joined with government, academia, and labour representatives to endorse a public policy paper published by the Aspen Institute  which calls for an end to value-destroying short-termism in the financial markets.

The paper, “Overcoming Short-Termism: A Call for a More Responsible Approach to Investment and Business Management,” is the work of the Institute’s  Business & Society Program’s Corporate Values Strategy Group (CVSG.… Read the rest

Who Madoff with the money? Not SEC staff

A regulator’s lot is not a happy one by all accounts. While the UK’s Conservative Party has promised to close the FSA and transfer its duties to the Bank of England if it wins the next election, US regulators at the SEC are having an equally tough time.… Read the rest

Bailout Barons’ Bounty

The top five executives at the 20 US banks that have accepted the most bailout support averaged $32 million each in personal compensation in the period 2006 -2008, according to a new study published by the Washington-DC based Institute for Policy Studies.… Read the rest

When shareholder meetings go wrong

A bizarre proxy fight at US life sciences company CNS Response Inc appears to hinge on the validity of a special meeting, writes Scott Fenn of ProxyGovernance. In one of the stranger US proxy contests witnessed in recent years, Leonard J.… Read the rest

Australian financial regulators seek deferral of bonuses

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has today released a second consultation package on remuneration at financial institutions. This second package comprises a response paper to the submissions, together with revised draft versions of the relevant governance standards and an associated draft prudential practice guide (PPG).… Read the rest

New Remuneration Code for Dutch Banks

The Netherlands Bankers’Association (Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken or ‘NVB)’, has published a provisional banking code which is in response to the report entitled ‘Restoring Trust’ (‘Naar herstel van vertrouwen’), which was published by the Advisory Committee on the Future of Banks (Adviescommissie Toekomst Banken) on 7 April 2009.… Read the rest

Ryanair breaches Irish listing rules – again

Yet again Ryanair stands out amongst its peers as being one of Europe’s most shareholder unfriendly companies.

Since the introduction of the 2006 Combined Code recommendations that companies should provide their shareholders with a detailed breakdown of voting results, Ryanair has refused all such requests.… Read the rest

US voting results – directors bear the brunt

Preliminary data from the 2009 proxy season compiled by Manifest’s US partner, PROXY Governance, show that the number and percentage of votes withheld for director nominees continue to increase — with the percentage of director nominees who had at least 30 percent of shareholder votes withheld doubling in 2009 to 5 % of nominees from 2.5 % of nominees in 2008. … Read the rest

Manifest appointment strengthens public sector profile

Manifest is pleased to announce the appointment of Valerie Callen as Business Development Manager this week. Valerie will be working alongside Paul Hewitt and will be focused primarily on public sector pension funds.

Valerie has been involved with local authority and other not-for-profit sector pension funds for over 28 years in a variety of roles most recently with Psolve Asset Solutions.… Read the rest