Caterpillar: Federal investigations prompt investor concerns

Caterpillar federal investigation tax schemes

Investors in machinery, vehicle and engine manufacturer Caterpillar have called on its board to establish a special committee to investigate any risks related to tax schemes set up by the company which are now subject to investigations by US federal authorities.… Read the rest

Lafarge admits to failings in firm’s abandoned Syrian operations

LafargeHolcim Syrian operations

Building materials supplier LafargeHolcim has admitted to failings by company bosses running its Syrian cement plant. They engaged in dealings with armed groups as they sought to protect employees as the area became increasingly dangerous as a result of the civil war.… Read the rest

Yahoo CEO gives up bonus over 2014 cyber security breach

Yahoo CEO cyber security data breach

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo chief executive, has lost her 2016 cash bonus and forgone her 2017 equity award after an investigation found that executives at the technology company were aware of a cyber security data breach in 2014 but did not actively investigate the incident.… Read the rest

Snap go the votes!

Snap IPO shares no voting power

News of Snap Inc’s pending IPO arrived too late for our usual weekly round-up, but no matter, now that the full implications of the disappearing photo-apps disappearing votes have started to sink in, we can take a moment to reflect on what this really means for investors and good governance.… Read the rest

Better governance: are board expectations realistic?

A significant proportion of corporate governance practitioners are unsure whether the UK’s system of corporate governance is fit for purpose. According to a poll published last week [01-Feb-17] by the UK’s corporate secretary professional body, ICSA,  and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership, 45% of respondents are on the fence, or just ‘maybe’ when asked if the current system is working.… Read the rest

Sports Direct’s independent shareholders remain unconvinced

Sports Direct Logo

A majority of Sports Direct independent shareholders remain sceptical of governance improvements at the troubled retailer and last week voted against the re-election of its chairman, Keith Hellawell. Under UK listing rules, the retailer had been forced to hold a general meeting to vote again on his reappointment after most independent shareholders voted against him at the company’s AGM last September.… Read the rest

Sports Direct chairman hits out at “extreme campaign”

Sports Direct Logo

Keith Hellawell, Sports Direct chairman, has hit out at the company’s critics in its half year results and stated that: “I have no doubt that the extreme political, union and media campaign waged against this company has not only damaged its reputation and influenced our customers, it has impacted negatively on the morale of our people.”

Hellawell failed to achieve support for his re-election from the majority of Sports Direct’s independent shareholder at the AGM in September and will again seek re-election at a general meeting on 5th January.… Read the rest

Sports Direct 2016 accounts to be investigated

Sports Direct Logo

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has commenced an investigation into retailer Sports Direct’s accounts following reports earlier this year that there was an arrangement between Sports Direct and Barlin Delivery which was not disclosed as a related party in the company’s 2016 financial statements.… Read the rest

Ardent Leisure’s AGM held days after theme park fatalities

Ardent Leisure Logo

Australian entertainments group, Ardent Leisure, held its AGM just two days after an accident at its theme park Dreamworld in which four people died and two children were injured on a river rapids ride. The out-going chairman, Neil Banaves, offered sincere condolences to the victims and their families but said that despite the seriousness of the incident they were still required to convene the AGM as planned.… Read the rest

Proxy Votes: Mortgage Choice Chairman loses it

Peter Ritchie

Mortgage Choice (ASX:MOC) chairman, Peter Ritchie, has resigned abruptly, raging at proxy advisors for “damaging Australian business” after another bruising shareholder revolt at last week’s AGM.

Close to 80% of the Australian firm’s independent shareholders voted against the remuneration report, the third such vote, leading Ritchie to blame the outcome on analysts.… Read the rest