Comment: Proxy adviser mafia shakedown? Put up or shut up.

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In a recent edition of The Times, Financial Editor Patrick Hosking wrote an item entitled “Adviser is accused of mafia‑style shakedown” in which the business community raised concerns about the potential conflicts of interest in the governance services industry. It explained how ISS, the largest proxy voting adviser had developed a service which helps companies draft governance and voting disclosures in a way which improves the chances they will get the nod from shareholders.… Read the rest

FRC: Wide-ranging review of UK corporate governance code launched

FRC UK chairman announces review of corporate governance code

The UK’s corporate governance landscape could be set for set for a wholesale changes after the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announced a wide-ranging review of the corporate governance code. This will take into account the regulator’s recent work on corporate culture and succession planning, as well as the issues raised in the government’s green paper and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy parliamentary select committee inquiry.… Read the rest

Pensions must be part of corporate governance debate

pensions corporate governance

The UK’s Work and Pensions Select Committee has used its response to the government’s green paper on corporate governance to emphasise that public and private companies need to ensure that their pension fund forms part of their corporate thinking.

The MPs’ recommendations follow their inquiry into the collapse of the retailer BHS last year.… Read the rest

President Trump begins rollback of Dodd-Frank

Donal Trump rolls back Dodd-Frank

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday (3rd February) seeking a review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory framework. At the same time President Trump has rescinded the Fiduciary Rule which was designed to eliminate investment advisor conflicts-of-interest in respect of retirement plans.… Read the rest

Stewardship Code & Governance updates: India, Nigeria

Stewardship code India: insurers published

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has published a draft stewardship code for insurers in their role as institutional investors managing funds on behalf of policyholders.

The IRDAI said: “Considering the fiduciary role played by the insurance companies as investors on behalf of the policyholders, it is felt that greater transparency is needed as regards the manner in which the investments are managed by them.Read the rest

Boards, investors explore better stakeholder relations

ICSA and IA guidance to support company boards to engage with stakeholders

A project to help boards understand and factor in the views of their employees and other stakeholders led by the  ICSA: The Governance Institute and the Investment Association, has been welcomed by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The project follows the lead of the government’s green paper on corporate governance reform which explores how employees and other stakeholders could be better represented at the top of UK’s listed companies.… Read the rest

Tax transparency: EU proposals face dilution threat

Tax

Tax transparency campaigners are looking to the European Parliament to continue to have a strong stance on public tax disclosure after EU member states agreed in December on a position that weakened European Commission proposals contained in the latest draft of the  Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD).… Read the rest

UK companies need to do more to improve public trust says FRC

FRC Paul George

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has said it is ready to make further changes to the UK’s corporate governance code to reflect concerns about the role of companies within society and to improve public trust in its annual report, Developments in Corporate Governance and Stewardship 2016.… Read the rest

US updates ESG & voting guidance for ERISA funds

Phyllis Borzl - DoL

US regulators have responded to concerns that employee pension plans have not been exercising their shareholder rights by issuing updated guidance on proxy voting for 2017.

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) agency said that it is has long believed that it is important for plan administrators to know what their responsibilities are when they vote proxies on those shares or exercise other shareholder rights.… Read the rest

Philippines adopts revised Corporate Governance Code

A revised corporate governance code came into effect on 1st January 2017 in the Philippines. The code has been developed by the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the aim of improving the competitiveness of listed companies in the country and their ability to attract foreign investment.… Read the rest