Companies Adjust Pay Plans in Wake of Market Downturn

Manifest’s North American partner, PROXYGovernance Inc has seen a trend by some US companies to adjust their pay components in response to the market drop and economic downturn – often by suspending long-term incentive pay in favor of more stock and option grants. … Read the rest

PSE calls for shareholder activism

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is urging shareholders to take advantage of the upcoming AGM season to assert their rights and to “not wait until they have been trampled on”.

PSE director and co-chair of the recently established corporate governance committe, Jose Luis Javier, said: “The current global financial crisis has put the spotlight on the importance of the role shareholders play in steering the direction of a company.… Read the rest

How to avoid activists new guidance from The Conference Board

The Conference Board Governance Center has got together with Damien Park of Hedge Fund Solutions to produce guidance and a checklist of issues for boards to  consider in their relations with shareholders. In particular the report is focused on  how to avoid “costly and disruptive confrontations” with activist funds.… Read the rest

Finland proposes Shareholder Rights Directive changes

Voting at Finnish companies is set to get a whole lot easier following an announcement from the Finnish government which will see Finnish company law brought into line with the EU Shareholder Rights Directive. Now that the contents of  the Bill have been decided and presented to parliament, the aim is to bring the amendments into force with effect from 3 August 2009.… Read the rest

Bouygues anti-takeover proposals

Bouygues, a constituent of the French blue-chip index, the CAC 40, is looking for shareholder approval for three potentially contentious proposals at the forthcoming AGM on 23 April.

The most contentious proposal is Resolution 24, seeking an authorisation to issue ‘bons breton’ warrants.… Read the rest

US reforms dodge fair value accounting reform

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s recently announced proposals for US recovery have attracted extreme criticism in many quarters for failing to address the issue of Fair Value Accounting.  Alex Pollock of  the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute and a long-standing critic of mark-to-market accounting rules sees a missed opportunity for a more radical overhaul, as outlined in a recent Accountancy Age analysis of the proposals.… Read the rest

Sibir Energy presses case against former directors

London AIM-listed Sibir Energy plc, (SBE.LN), the Russian energy company listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), has begun proceedings in the High Court against two of its former directors, Henry Cameron, former chief executive, and Chalva Tchigirinski, a property developer and one of the company’s biggest shareholders.… Read the rest

Manifest urges SEC to overhaul the US proxy system

Manifest has written to the SEC in support of rule changes designed to eliminate uninstructed broker votes being used at director elections. The New York Stock Exchange had recently filed a request with the SEC to change Rule 452 which allows brokers to use client votes if no instructions have been received.… Read the rest

Short-termism hindering governance in emerging markets

A short-term outlook and portfolio turnover exceeding 100% per annum is inhibiting ESG integration finds new  research by Mercer,  the investment consulting firm. These findings are included in it’s recent report, Gaining Ground: Integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Facors into Investment Process in Emerging Markets.… Read the rest

Canadian Teachers Governance Role Reduced?

One of Canada’s leading newspapers, the Globe & Mail, is striking the death knell for The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s role in promoting good governance in Canada.

Their gloomy analysis comes after the pension fund announced and 18% loss and a reduction in its Canadian stocks weightings in  by more than half.… Read the rest

RBS Vote Result Analysis

The resolution on the remuneration report at Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc represents the highest ever “Total Dissent” vote on the remuneration report since the introduction of the requirement for the report to be put forward to a non-binding vote.… Read the rest

Eddington re-election concerns at Rio Tinto

Sir Roderick Eddington will stand for re-election at the upcoming meetings of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Ltd, the two listed holding companies on the Rio Tinto group.

Manifest’s research report ahead of the AGMs have noted a number of concerns in respect of Sir Roderick’s position on the Boards.… Read the rest