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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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Board diversity a key theme for US 2017 proxy season

US 2017 peak season

Board diversity and gender pay equity were key themes for the 2017 proxy season in the US, according to the annual review by the EY Center for Board Matters.

The report noted that this year’s proxy season was notable for the launch of the US stewardship code in February and the emergence of proxy access as standard practice across large companies.… Read the rest

Boards need to work to rebuild trust in business

business trust Ecoda

Encouraging responsible leadership by company boards so that businesses contribute to wider society was the theme of the recent discussion organised by the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations (ecoDa) and Standard Life Investments. This was building on a vision of the role of business begun by the World Economic Forum.… Read the rest

Hong Kong corporate governance scorecard shows improvement needed

Hong Kong corporate governance scorecard

The latest corporate governance scorecard assessing listed companies in Hong Kong shows that improvement is needed and directors ought to stay up to speed with the latest corporate governance developments, according to the Hong Kong Institute of Directors.

The 2016 survey of 120 companies published this week found that when compared to the 121 firms assessed for the last survey in 2012 mean score had improved by 5.1% when the same criteria were compared.… Read the rest

OECD surveys corporate governance in Asia

OECD Corporate Governance Principles

A new survey from the OECD highlights the development of corporate governance across 14 countries in Asia. While each of the countries have their own characteristics the study shows how international standards are taking hold across the region.

The authors of the study suggest that understanding the ownership structures in Asia is critical to ensuring the development of effective corporate governance standards.… Read the rest

Australian pension funds are adopting responsible investment finds RIAA

RIAA Benchmark 2016

Most of the largest Australian superannuation (super) pension funds are adopting some form of  responsible investment according to a survey by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA).

The RIAA said its  Superfund Responsible Investment Benchmarking Report  involved a detailed assessment and survey of the largest 50 superfunds in Australia which accounts for around $1.3 trillion of assets under management.… Read the rest

Women increase representation on US company boards

chart of women on boards in usa

The numbers of women on boards in the US has risen in the past year according to the latest  annual 2020 Gender Diversity Index (GDI) produced by the campaign group, 2020 Women on Boards. The organisation aims to  increase the percentage of women on US company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020.… Read the rest

Cyber risk tops finance industry risk concerns DTCC study finds

Cyber risk remains the top overall risk identified by senior staff within the global financial services industry. According to the latest results of a biannual survey published by the post-trade market infrastructure provider, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) 22% of respondents cite cyber risk as the single biggest threat to the financial services sector.… Read the rest

EU needs to be more joined-up on corporate governance to make the Capital Markets Union work CFA says

EU capital market union is being hampered by a  silo-ed approach to corporate governance policy, according to a report, Governance Policy in the European Union: Through an Investor’s Lens, published by the CFA Institute.

The report, the result of engagement with more than 30 investment practitioners, governance experts, and other stakeholders from across Europe, suggests that a joined-up approach to governance policy, encompassing the Capital Markets Union initiative, is now necessary to achieve meaningful reforms.… Read the rest

Emerging markets governance - IOSCO seeks to strengthen standards

Governance standards in emerging markets are coming under closer scrutiny. The International Organization of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) has published a report seeking to strengthen corporate governance frameworks within emerging markets.

The report from IOSCO’s growth and emerging markets committee identifies possible measures and regulatory approaches aimed at strengthening corporate governance in emerging market jurisdictions and aligning regulatory frameworks with internationally recognised standards.… Read the rest

Thailand consults on Governance & Stewardship Codes - with added ESG

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand is consulting on a draft corporate governance (CG) code, which will replace the country’s principles of good corporate governance 2012, and a new investment governance code. The deadline for responses to both consultations is the end of the month.… Read the rest