US senators suggest acting SEC chairman is overreaching his authority

SEC chair Michael Piwowar

In a sign of disquiet about the acting chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Michael Piwowar, Democratic Senators have suggested that he has overreached his authority in a letter to the regulator’s inspector general, Carl Hoecker.

The Senators point out that Piwowar’s position is temporary until President Trump’s nominee for the position, Jay Clayton, has been approved by Congress.… Read the rest

MPs call for toughening up of UK corporate governance rules

Iain Wright MP BEIS Select Committe

Directors should be required to take their corporate governance and legal duties more seriously the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee believes. The committee’s report on corporate governance was published this week.

While the MPs state that there is no need for a radical overhaul of corporate governance in the UK, “We do believe that there is scope for significant improvements in order to address the changing nature of company ownership in a globalised economy.”

Iain Wright MP, Chair of the BEIS select committee, said: “The UK corporate governance system is recognised throughout the world as of high quality.Read the rest

BEIS select committee discusses the future of work

UK corporate governance

Speaking at an evidence gathering session for the Future of Work inquiry being conducted by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy parliamentary select committee Steve Turner, assistant general secretary at the Unite Union said that his union had predominantly come across the “criminal and dodgy” agencies that existed to exploit the workforce.… Read the rest

New stewardship guidance for DB schemes

The Pensions Regulator DB guidance

The UK’s Pensions Regulator, TPR, has issued new investment guidance for defined benefit pension schemes including  expanded duties on stewardship, sustainability, ESG and voting issues.

The guidance follows the common principles set out in TPR’s DC investment guidance together with some specific considerations relevant to defined benefit schemes.… Read the rest

Chilling, excessive rules for shareholder activists and analysts

Texan state legislature disclosure act

Shareholder activists and proxy analysts face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 if they fail to comply with a new regulations being proposed in the USA.

The US state legislature in Texas has proposed a bill, which would, if passed, require activist investors and proxy advisory firms owning or commenting on Texan publicly-listed companies adhere to new disclosure requirements that go far beyond current federal rules.… Read the rest

OECD updates governance assessment methodology

OECD Corporate Governance Principles

The OECD has published its revised Methodology for Assessing the Implementation of the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance. The latest version incorporates changes that were made to the Principles during the 2015 review as well as a number of additional clarifications.… Read the rest

EU Shareholder Rights Directive II moves closer to adoption

EU Shareholder Rights Directi e

The revised EU’s Shareholder Rights Directive was approved by the European Parliament (EP) earlier this week and will be formally adopted by the European Council, made up of the member states, shortly. Once adopted member states have two years to put the directive into effect in their own countries.… Read the rest

US Business Roundtable supports Dodd Frank reform

Business Roundtable | BRT

The Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of the top US chief executives, has voiced its support for President Trump’s plans to reform Dodd Frank and has outlined a number of corporate governance regulations that it believes need reform or to be repealed.… Read the rest

FSB assesses post-financial crisis reform and climate-related disclosure progress

Financial Stability Board crisis reforms Climate-related Financial Disclosures

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) backed by the G-20, assessed reforms introduced following the financial crisis of 2008, its work on financial technology, financial sector misconduct and climate-related financial disclosures in a meeting held at the end of February.

The FSB promotes global financial stability by coordinating the development of regulatory, supervisory and other financial sector policies and conducting outreach to non-member countries. … Read the rest

Purposeful Company Task Force: Corporate governance reform could boost UK economy

UK corporate governance

The UK’s Purposeful Company Task force, set up by the Big Innovation Centre, has called for major changes in corporate governance, asset management and backed the Financial Reporting Council’s proposal for company’s to report on how directors are having regard to stakeholders as required under company law.… Read the rest