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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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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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Ukraine adopts law to improve the governance of joint stock companies

Ukraine governance joint stock companies

Ukraine has adopted a long-awaited law which will improve the corporate governance of its joint stock companies (JSC) as well as the shareholder rights. Legal experts said that the changes will boost the prospects of foreign investment in Ukrainian companies as it will bring its corporate law more in line with the rest of Europe.… Read the rest

Accor: Double voting rights dissapointment

Accor double voting rights

Minority shareholders in Accor, were disappointed when their resolution was not passed at its AGM (5th May) meaning double voting rights continue for large investors in the hotel chain.
French social investment firm, Phitrust Partners, advised by corporate governance and proxy voting specialists Proxinvest, submitted the resolution – calling for the principle of “one share – one vote” to be adopted at Accor  – with the support of other minority shareholders.… Read the rest

RBS refuses to back down on shareholder committee resolution

RBS ShareSoc shareholder resolution

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has refused to back down on a decision not to allow a shareholder resolution, calling on the bank to establish a shareholder committee.

The resolution, to be proposed at RBS’ AGM later this year, was proposed by 168  shareholders last December and is being coordinated by the ShareSoc, the UK Individual Shareholders Society and UKSA, the UK Shareholders’ Association.… Read the rest

Italian shareholder association formed to protect investors

Italian shareholder association formed

An Italian shareholder association has been formed to protect the group minority, with a particular focus on listed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Italian Association for the Exercise of Shareholders’ Rights, AIEDA, has been set up by a group of professionals, managers and entrepreneurs with the aim of promoting good corporate governance and facilitating dialogue between listed companies directors and minority shareholders as well as the exercise of their rights.… Read the rest

JKX Board ousted after defying UK Supreme Court over shareholder rights

JKX, the London-listed oil company has seen its entire board being replaced following years of questionable corporate governance and poor performance.

Proxima Capital, JKX’s third largest shareholder managed to secure over two thirds of the votes cast at a special meeting of JKX shareholders held on Thursday with their proposals to replace most of the board, including the chairman and chief executive.… Read the rest

Manifest Publishes Global Regulatory Review

Manifest has this week published a Global Regulatory Review, keeping customers abreast of the latest developments in corporate governance and related disciplines around the world.
Global capital markets and investors expectations towards them have changed radically over the past 20 years.… Read the rest

Going Dutch on Shareholders Rights

Probably the most un-noticed consequence of the battle around the ill-fated Royal Bank of Scotland acquisition of ABN-AMRO has been the subsequent limitation of shareholders’ rights in the Netherlands.

At the start of July a number of significant amendments Dutch company law were introduced which will make it significantly harder for shareholders to table their own resolutions.… Read the rest

Please sir, I'd like to have a vote?

Perhaps the two least surprising observations about last week’s local government elections in the UK were the weakness of the incumbent national government party vote, and the continued fall in turnout. If there’s one thing you can rely on, it’s that generally people don’t understand why local government is important to them and therefore don’t bother to vote, and that of those who do, many are simply turning up to have an indescriminate whinge.… Read the rest

More Regulation or Better Stewardship?

Optimising the Means and Ends of Good Governance

Manifest is proud to sponsor the 4th Cambridge International Regulation and Governance Conference on September 6th, at Queens College, Cambridge.

In a timely intervention given recent consultations at national and supra-national level on both sides of the Atlantic touching on stewardship processes, the conference will address regulatory responses to aspects of the global financial crisis.… Read the rest

French President takes away voting rights of foreign shareholders

French Company Law now has  a further measure which French companies can use to block dissident shareholders from using their influence at general meetings of shareholders. On 8 December 2010, the French President signed into law an an amendment to the Commercial Code, one part of which inserts three additional sections relating to voting at general meetings.… Read the rest

Northern Rock shareholders High Court challenge

Former Northern Rock shareholders are challenging the UK government’s nationalisation terms in the British courts claiming that the Treasury’s conditions will result in little or no compensation. The case, which is expected to run for three days, is being brought by SRM Global, RAB Capital, and a group of private shareholders with the support of Legal & General, the Rock’s  third-largest institutional shareholder.… Read the rest

US Shareholders look forward to a “Bill of Rights”

If  Democratic New York Senator Charles ‘Chuck’ E Schumer has his way, shareholders of US-quoted companies can expect to see their ownership rights significantly enhanced. Schumer’s move was flagged in late April but reports are coming in that the Bill will be presented this week.… Read the rest