Manifest-I

Welcome to Manifest-I the blog of Manifest, the proxy voting agency. Here we take a wide ranging view of topical governance and stewardship issues. Please feel free to add your comments and join the debate.

Recent Items

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn speaks out on executive pay

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party has outlined his party’s agenda for governance reform focusing on CEO pay ratios. In a speech in Peterborough last week (10th January) Corbyn added his voice to the current debate surrounding Theresa May’s governance green paper proposals.… Read the rest

CFA UK-backed study reveals continuing rising CEO pay

Research commissioned by CFA UK has examined the alignment of chief executive (CEO) pay and company value creation between 2003-2014/15 and found that total pay for the median CEO increased by 82% in real terms over the period. However, the median FTSE-350 company generated little in the way of a meaningful economic profit over the period 2003-2009 , and although performance improved from 2010 onwards the median firm generated less than 1% economic return on invested capital.… Read the rest

BlackRock set to vote against RemCo Chairs

Charlotte Villiers

Investment giant, BlackRock, has indicated it will be toughening its stance on executive pay after giving evidence to the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee. In future it will now hold remuneration committee chairmen to account for the decisions they have made; a move which Manifest recommended to the Committee at the previous session.… Read the rest

UK Pension Funds: “Executive Pay is too High”

PLSA Logo

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), the membership body for UK’s pension funds, has published its AGM Season Report 2016, focusing on executive pay using data provided by Manifest. A survey of PLSA members for the report found that 87% of respondents believe executive pay is too high.… Read the rest

UK’s corporate governance green paper widely welcomed

The UK government’s widely trailed corporate governance green paper has focused, as expected, on executive pay and stakeholder representation at companies as well consulting on corporate governance rules for large privately owned companies. Manifest welcomed the consultation particularly the Government’s questions in relation to proxy advisors and other shareholder advisors who support investment managers and asset owners in their stewardship activities.… Read the rest

UK #corpgov #execpay Green Paper widely expected this week

The British press were this weekend widely tipping that the publication of Theresa May’s flagship corporate governance reforms will be published this week. The BBC, GuardianTelegraph, Sunday Times, and Scotsman have all run more or less the same articles over the weekend highlighting the key features of a proposed Bill:
  • A requirement for companies to publish pay ratios showing the difference in pay between the chief executive and average employee;
  • Improving the effectiveness of remuneration committees and the extent to which they must consult shareholders and the wider company on pay;
  • Employee advisory representation on remuneration committees;
  • A binding annual shareholder votes on executive pay packages; and
  • Private company directors will be subject to a new code of conduct on behaviour and transparency.
Read the rest

Tense Australian proxy voting season

Shareholders of Australian companies are showing their muscle in this year’s proxy season with significant opposition votes over the governance of retailer Harvey Norman and a rejection of executive pay at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The Australian Shareholders Association has called on the chairman of  Harvey Norman, Gerry Harvey, to resign and for an independent non-executive director to replace him.… Read the rest

Executive pay: UK fund managers trade group speaks out

Theresa May UK PM

UK fund managers members take executive pay reform seriously according to the UK’s Investment Association, which this week responded to the recommendations of the Executive Remuneration Working Group. In its new Principles of Remuneration, the IA suggests that rather than opting for the default Salary/Bonus/Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) pay structure,  firms should consider pay structures which fit their business and strategy.… 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

Shareholders urged to link executive pay at oil companies with climate change risks

UK investment campaign group ShareAction has urged investors to use the binding votes on remuneration policy at BP and Shell in 2017 to ensure the oil majors can demonstrate their commercial strategies are aligned with a move to a low carbon economy. … Read the rest