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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

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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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Law Commission: No barriers to pension funds making social investments

Law Commission pension social investments

There are no legal or regulatory barriers to pension funds, whether defined contribution or defined benefit, making investments that support the wider social good, according to a new report by the UK’s Law Commission. Current barriers identified by the Commission were, in most cases, structural and behavioural rather than legal or regulatory, the report concluded.… Read the rest

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures: Final report out Monday

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) set up by the Financial Stability Board will be publishing its final recommendations on Monday (29th June).

This follows a consultation on its initial report which was published in December which the TCFD said had generated 320 responses from respondents in 30 countries.… Read the rest

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

Pension funds should work to encourage better human capital reporting

human capital reporting

Diandra Soobiah, Senior Research Analyst at NEST, the UK government’s auto-enrolment pensions provider has argued for pension funds to work together to encourage companies to improve their disclosure of human capital information.

In an article written for Professional Pensions and available on the trade union Unite’s pensions activist website Soobiah said that the adoption of automatic enrolment in the UK meant the number of workers enrolled in defined contribution (DC) workplace schemes is expected to rise to 17 million by 2030.… Read the rest

ShareAction expands to take over the Asset Owners Disclosure Project

Shareaction Asset Owners Disclosure Project

Responsible investment pressure group ShareAction has taken over the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), which has worked to improve the management of climate risk investors have in their portfolios and to improve the level of disclosure about those risks.

For the past 10 years, the AODP has ranked the climate-related financial disclosures of the world’s largest pension funds, insurers, sovereign wealth funds and endowments,  and this work will be continued by ShareAction.… Read the rest

ICGN voices concern over proposed Dutch law on takeovers

Dutch takeover law

The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), has written to the Dutch Economic Ministry and to the Dutch House of Representative’s economic affairs committee to express its significant concerns relating to the new legislation regarding takeover bids in the Netherlands. This was outlined in a letter of Minister Kamp to the Chair of the House of Representatives on 20 May 2017.… Read the rest

RLAM’s Glencore governance worries flagged in AGM results

Glencore Royal London Asset Management

Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), voiced concerns about the unusual remuneration and board structure of Glencore ahead of its May 24 AGM.

The voting results show RLAM’s concerns may have been shared by other shareholders. While all Glencore’s resolutions were carried,  the figures showed dissatisfaction with the board with the nomination committee chairman Peter Grauer polling 13.92% vote against.… Read the rest

Shell faces shareholder resolution for greenhouse gas targets

Shell

Oil giant Shell is facing a shareholder resolution at its AGM next week (23rd May) calling for it to set and publish targets for reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement goal of reducing global warming to two degrees celsius.… Read the rest

ShareAction: Investors to oppose BP and Shell’s pay policies

BP remuneration policy

Responsible investment pressure group, ShareAction is calling on investors to oppose the executive pay policies of oil companies, Shell and BP, arguing that they are not aligned with the long-term interests of shareholders.
ShareAction said that the remuneration for executives at both oil companies is rewarding the achievement of corporate strategies which could put shareholder value at risk as the economy shifts towards low carbon energy production.… Read the rest

Guidance on stewardship code in Japan published

Japan corporate governance code

Guidance on Stewardship Code for institutional investors in Japan to perform their duties effectively has been published by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Generation Foundation as part of its series on Fiduciary Duty in the 21st century.… Read the rest

Shareholder advisors group announces review of its best practice principles

The charter signatories to the Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research & Analysis (the BPP Group), which includes Manifest, will review its principles by the end of 2017 following a public consultation overseen by Chris Hodge, the new independent chairman of the BPP Group’s review committee.… Read the rest

LGIM to use vote to put pressure on firms to take climate change action

LGIM climate change

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) will be using its shareholder vote at company AGMs to put pressure on companies to take action to respond to climate change and demonstrate they are taking measures to move to a low carbon economy.… Read the rest