Overseas owners prompt audit rethink

The increasing foreign ownership of UK companies is forcing the UK’s reporting watchdog the FRC rethink the role of audit and market oversight.

Stephen Haddrill, chief executive of  the Financial Reporting Council, speaking to senior finance figures this week said that  he would canvass opinion on the adequacy of the audit report, whether there needs to be more assurance More…

ASX Governance Code, board diversity on the agenda

The Australian Corporate Governance Code is up for review. Under the auspices of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), a number of amendments are under consideration, most notably improved disclosures about gender diversity and executive pay.

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Mercer strengthens Responsible Investment unit

Will Oulton is leaving his role as director of Responsible Investment at FTSE Group to join Mercer’s investment consulting business as European Head of Responsible Investment.

Oulton will start his new role at Mercer in May when he replaces Emma Hunt, Mercer’s former head of responsible investment for Europe who left to join rival advisor Towers Watson in February.

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Soc Gen rebuffs Chair/CE split, but was it legal?

French SICAV Proxy Active Investors is crying foul over the high handed dismissal of its proposal to separate the chair and CEO roles at Société Générale.

On April 7th 2010, PhiTrust, the managers of Proxy Active, and a group of international institutional shareholders filed a resolution requesting a statue change to split the roles. Although the shareholders More…

Xstra-ta very much

Xstrata may find that its remuneration report resolution hits the headlines yet again on May 5th. Against a backdrop of general public hostility towards high director bonuses and greater shareholder scrutiny on remuneration reports resolutions, resulting in higher levels of dissent (“Against” votes plus abstentions), Xstrata’s board will likely again need major shareholder, Glencore International, to come More…