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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.

Manifest is a signatory of the Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research

Delivering Diverse Viewpoints

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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SEC proposes universal proxy cards

US SEC improves shareholder democarcy

In a move to improve shareholder democracy the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed that universal proxy cards be introduced that allow investors to vote for directors as they would if they attended the company’s annual general meeting. However, one of the Commissioner, Michael Piwowar, has expressed his opposition to the proposal claiming that the changes pander to special interests.… Read the rest

Canada legislates to improve governance, diversity

Canada has introduced a bill aimed at improving its corporate governance framework. An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA), the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and the Competition Act includes proposals to increase shareholder democracy and participation, support the push to increase women’s board participation, improve corporate transparency and business certainty.… Read the rest

Taiwan assesses corporate governance progress

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission has published the Securities and Futures Institute’s second evaluation of Taiwan’s  5-year Corporate Governance Roadmap published in December 2013. This is an assessment of the corporate governance of 1,447 companies in 2015 – made up of  824 TWSE-listed companies and 623 listed on the Taipei Exchange (TPEx).… Read the rest

Australia moves to kill off show of hands for AGM voting

Shareholders in Australian companies are now more likely to have their votes taken on a poll by default instead of the traditional show of hands. Two-thirds of companies targeted by a global collaborative investor initiative have moved towards using polls, according to the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).… Read the rest

Investors demand more from their fund managers

Institutional investors are demanding high ethical standards from their investment managers and all investors are looking better transparency about fees they charge according to, From Trust to Loyalty: A Global Survey of What Investors Want, produced for the CFA Institute.Read the rest

Singapore Exchange consultations: Listings rule changes and sustainability reporting

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is undertaking a consultation on amendments to its Listing Rules to align them with the amended Companies Act passed in October 2014.

The Listing Rule changes will be able to send companies to send company notices and documents to shareholders electronically and the consultation asks if there is any concern about allowing companies to do this through implied consent which will mean shareholders will not be able to receive physical documents or whether shareholders should expressly agree to receiving the documents electronically.… Read the rest

Best Practice Principles improve transparency ESMA says

The Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research have improved transparency, so issuers and investors can better understand the work of proxy information providers and advisers, according to the EU’s European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

However, the ESMA believes that the  industry group behind the Principles would benefit from better governance and further clarity over what monitoring it performs.… Read the rest

(Thin) Red Lines for 'eroes

The Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) officially launched its new AGM voting toolkit this month (08-Dec-15). The 34 policy ‘Red Lines’  (19 Governance, 10 Social and 5 Environmental) are designed to help pension trustees hold investee companies – and the fund managers who manage their investments in them – better to account when it comes to stewardship and voting voting.… Read the rest

Vote suspension rules of Transparency Directive amendments come into force

The amended Transparency Directive (TD), which entered into force on 26 November 2015 across the EU brings major new powers to the FCA. One of the key changes is that the FCA can apply to court for a voting rights suspension order against a “vote holder” of shares in a company which are admitted to trading on a regulated market where that vote holder has breached the significant shareholder notification regime.… Read the rest

ICGN welcomes ongoing review of Japanese Corporate Governance

The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) has welcomed the ongoing work on the Japanese Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. A panel of experts was established in September to encourage the adoption of the codes as well as further improving corporate governance of all listed companies in Japan.… Read the rest