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Stewardship Code & Governance updates: India, Nigeria

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.

Stewardship code India: insurers published

IRDA consults on stewardship code

In this regard, the Authority has examined the regulatory stipulations/ guidelines in various jurisdictions across the world and it was noticed that disclosures regarding decision making and voting at meetings of investee companies by institutional investors are being encouraged.

The proposed stewardship code contains seven principles which include the recommendations that insurers have a publicly available stewardship policy; that they monitor the governance of their investee companies and that they have a clear policy as to when they will engage with companies on governance issues. The code also recommends that investors have a policy of when they will collaborate with other investors; disclose their vote policy and report on their stewardship activities. The consultation on the stewardship code runs until 15th February 2017.

Nigerian Corporate Governance Code Suspended

Manifest reported in October that the Nigerian National Code of Corporate Governance 2016, developed by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria, had taken effect. However, the federal government of Nigeria intervened and forced the FRC to suspend the Code. The FRC-N also announced that a new executive secretary/chief executive had been appointed at the Council.

The National Code was made up of three separate parts: the Code of Corporate Governance for the Private Sector, the Code of Governance for Not-for-Profit entities and the Code of Governance for the Public Sector. The legal blog, Corporate Law and Governance, written by Robert Goddard, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Aston Business School, reported that the not-for-profit section had proved controversial in Nigeria and this prompted the suspension of the code.

What do you think?