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Welcome to Manifest-I the blog of Manifest Information Services Ltd. Here we take a wide ranging view of topical governance and stewardship issues. Please feel free to add your comments and join the debate. Sign up to receive free weekly updates.

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In the pursuit of secure investment returns, diverse viewpoints based on high-quality data and varied information are critical for portfolio construction. We believe that share ownership is no different. Manifest intelligently navigates the complexities of global governance and voting delivering actionable and defensible stewardship insights.

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NEST renews Manifest contract for proxy voting and engagement support

human capital reporting

NEST has renewed its contract with the proxy voting and analysis firm Manifest as part of its ongoing commitment to act as a responsible steward of members’ money.

Commenting on the relationship between NEST and Manifest, NEST’s Paul Todd said, ‘Auto enrolment is creating millions of new shareholders.… Read the rest

IIGCC appoints Peter Damgaard Jensen as chairman

Peter Damgaard Jensenof IIGCC

Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive of the large Danish pension fund manager PKA has become chairman of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). Jensen took over from Donald McDonald, who has also retired from his post as a BT Pensions trustee director, at the beginning of the year.… Read the rest

Sky AGM: independent shareholders vote against James Murdoch

Over half of the Sky’s (LON: SKY) independent shareholders  rebelled against the election of James Murdoch as a non-executive director at last week’s AGM following his appointment as chairman earlier this year.

Overall Murdoch received 71.6% support for his re-election, the lowest vote in favour of any of the AGM’s resolutions.… Read the rest

Conflicts of interest, human capital and investor confidence concerns dog Sports Direct

In a surprise change of PR last Friday, (26 August 2016) Sports Direct announced that it would hold a public open day to coincide with its AGM on 7th September  at its premises in Shirebrook. The event is said to “enable the board to engage with as many people as possible in an open discussion about the business.” In an unprecedented move the AGM is also being opened up to non-shareholders – previous AGMs have previously been tightly restricted to shareholders only with all press excluded.Read the rest

Companies and investors need to understand the value of the workforce

PLSA Toolkit

Understanding the value of a company’s workforce is important for investors, and companies should improve their reporting on this and be able to link this reporting to their wider company strategy and business model, according to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).… Read the rest

UK's new prime minister sets out #corpgov #ESG stall

Theresa May UK PM

In sharp contrast to US Republican moves to unwind the Dodd Frank corporate governance reforms introduced after the global financial crisis, the UK’s newly appointed Conservative party leader and soon to be prime minister, Theresa May, has signalled strong support for a progressive corporate governance agenda.… Read the rest

Persimmon seeks to blame proxy advisors for NED's slim majority

Construction firm, Persimmon, faced significant opposition in the vote to elect Nigel Mills as one their non-executive directors. There was a 47% vote against Mills’ appointment, due to independence concerns, at the company’s AGM last week, one of the slimmest margins for a director appointment for some time.… Read the rest

Railpen's Head of Corporate Governance Retires

Railpen veteran, Frank Curtiss, who was most recently been its head of corporate governance, has retired. The pension fund has been at the forefront of active institutional investment and was one of the first to vote actively on its equity holdings in the UK and published a voting and corporate governance policy in 1992.… Read the rest

Druckman to step down as chief executive of the IIRC

Paul Druckman, chief executive of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), will step down this year, although the exact date for his departure will be dependent on the appointment of his successor.

The IIRC said that Druckman would continue to lead on its programme for 2016, including its work as a member of the B20 SME Development Task Force and leading representations to the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures.… Read the rest

CBI Director General says women need to lead at all levels of organisations

Carolyn Fairburn, Director General of business group, the CBI, said that the issue of diversity needs to run right through companies and has called for a new voluntary target of 25% for female senior executives in major UK companies.

Speaking recently at an event hosted by law firm Latham & Watkins, Fairburn had been asked to speak about women on boards of companies but she argued to achieve more executive directors there needed to be promotion and support of women throughout the company so they were viewed as future leaders of companies.… Read the rest